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Do vaccinated travellers transiting through France from Italy still have to quarantine in UK?

From August 2nd, fully vaccinated people will be able to travel to the UK from a European country without having to quarantine, but this does not apply to France. So what about people who just travel through France en route to the UK?

Do vaccinated travellers transiting through France from Italy still have to quarantine in UK?
Photo: Thomas SAMSON / AFP.

The British government announced on Wednesday that vaccinated travellers from countries in Europe to the UK can skip the mandatory 10-day quarantine when arriving in England, but separate rules will still apply for France.

The British government made it clear it still requires fully vaccinated travellers from France – whether they are UK residents returning from a holiday or people vaccinated in France – to undergo 10 days of quarantine after arrival.

It’s a move that’s been slammed as “absurd and discriminatory” by people in France who were left out of the UK’s announcement.

But what about fully vaccinated travellers from Italy who are just driving through France to get to the UK?

READ ALSO: UK to allow fully vaccinated travellers from Europe to skip quarantine (but not tests)

It appears that they will still be required to quarantine on arrival in England.

(Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

On July 16th, after announcing that was France was in effect ranked as “amber plus” compared to the rest of Europe which was still amber, the UK issued the following guidance:

“Anyone who has been in France in the last 10 days will need to quarantine on arrival to England in their own accommodation and will need a day 2 and day 8 test, regardless of their vaccination status. This includes any fully vaccinated individual who transits through France from either a green or another amber country to reach England.”

However, existing exemptions for key workers including truck drivers remain in place.

The government added: “Some operators may make specific arrangements compliant with the public health regulations that allow for transit without quarantine, for example those travelling by train from Belgium, so travellers should check with their operator.”

“Ministers indicated that Eurostar passengers on services travelling through France would not need to quarantine if their train did not stop in the country,” the BBC reported at the time.

However, it is unclear whether any exemption would extend to passengers from Belgium or the Netherlands who travel to England on a Eurostar train which stops in Lille. Passengers are advised to check with Eurostar.

It also wasn’t clear whether there were exceptions for those air passengers travelling to the UK via a French airport.

The government is yet to release detailed guidance concerning travelling through France following the latest announcement.

The current guidelines state, “If you’ve been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive and take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if you are fully vaccinated.”

Therefore, if travelling from Italy to the UK, avoiding France would mean you can skip the 10-day quarantine.

As for returning to Italy, there is still a mandatory 5-day quarantine for UK arrivals, although an announcement is expected as the rule is due to expire on July 30th.

Member comments

  1. When i drove directly from Italy to the UK via France and Eurotunnel, last September, in theory i should have had to self-isolate in the UK, but the UK immigration officer asked me how long i had been in France and if had i stopped anywhere. i told him 8 hours and i only stopped for fuel, i was told i didn’t need to isolate. the timings were on my locator form and i was not contacted. This year in June i did the same. The immigration officer said she didn’t know if i was to isolate or not. All timings were on my locator form. I was called only to ensure i had had my 2 and 8 day test, i paid extra and released on day 5. Again the person from Test and Trace didn’t know if i needed to self-isolate. I wasn’t checked up on at my home.

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VENICE

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

Venice is introducing a new system to discourage day-trippers in hopes of curbing problems with overtourism in the popular hotspot. Here is what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

After years of discussing a possible “tourist tax”, the city of Venice has confirmed it will make day-trippers pay from €3 to €10 for access to the city centre starting on January 16th.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the goal of the new tourism fee is to discourage day tourism at certain times of the year and encourage overnight tourism. Day-trippers will have to pay a fee, but those who stay overnight continue only to have to pay the city tax of €2 to €5, according to a government press release.

The Commission and the City Council will now examine the regulatory text for the final green light scheduled for the summer.

“We are the first in the world to introduce this system, and we are aware that not everything will work well from the beginning, but we will be ready to improve in the course of work. We want to guarantee the tourist the best quality of the visit and make sure that the city is able to give visitors all the services they need”, said Tourism Secretary Simone Venturini.

READ ALSO: After flooding and coronavirus, is it time Venice stopped relying on tourism?

How much will I have to pay?

The contributo di acesso, or access contribution, will cost from €3 to €10, depending on factors such as tourism numbers for the day and season.

The city will determine a certain threshold of tourists, after which people will be required to pay higher sums. Travellers are encouraged to book in advance to avoid price increases.

Does the payment have to be made in advance?

The government said that nobody would be denied entry to Venice, meaning a pre-registration is not necessary. However, the mayor said that those who book their visit in advance would be “rewarded”. The reward will likely discount the fee.

How will the system work? Where do I pay?

According to the City of Venice, the payment is an alternative to the city tax. It will be required from every person that goes to the old city centre of Venice, as well as other major tourist destinations and islands in the region.

READ ALSO: 16 surprising facts about Venice to mark 16 centuries of the lagoon city

A single payment guarantees access to the old town and the smaller islands.

Tourists will be able to pay through an online and “multilingual” platform where they will receive a QR code to present in case of controls. Tickets should also be available to buy in connection with public transport – so if you are arriving by train, it will be possible to buy the train ticket and the entry pass together.

Who is excluded or exempt from the payment?

There are several exceptions to the payment, according to the website. Among them are residents from the Comune di Venezia, those who work or study there, and those who own homes in the city.

Additionally, exceptions include those born in the Comune di Venezia, children under six years of age, people with disabilities and their accompanying person, public workers, volunteers, people visiting family members, prisoners, or attending funerals, and many others.

Residents of the Veneto region “up to the thresholds that will be set by a specific Council resolution” are also exempt.

Those who stay overnight and, therefore, already pay the city tax through their hotel or short-term rental booking are also exempt from the fee.

The city of Murano, in the metropolitan region of Venice (Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)

What about people arriving on cruises?

Venice is a very popular stop for cruise ships and people visiting the city on a cruise tour will also have to pay the fee as they disembark in the old town. However, the City of Venice said they might determine a lump-sum measure in agreement with the relevant carriers.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Why more of Italy’s top destinations must limit tourist numbers

Which smaller islands are included?

Only one ticket and payment is required for those travelling to multiple islands, including Venice. The islands that are part of the group are:

  • Lido di Venezia
  • Pellestrina
  • Murano
  • Burano
  • Torcello
  • Sant’Erasmo
  • Mazzorbo
  • Mazzorbetto
  • Vignole
  • S. Andrea
  • La certosa
  • S. Servolo
  • S. Clemente
  • Poveglia

What if I simply don’t pay?

If you fail to produce proof of payment or that you are exempt from the fee, the sanction is from €50 to €300. The fine is the same in the case of people making false statements trying to obtain exemptions or reductions.

Additionally, visitors who don’t pay in advance will have to pay the full €10 fee.

For more info click here.

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