Travel latest news: Pressure mounting on UK to add France to red list

France is at risk of being added to the UK’s ‘red list’, following mounting pressure from England’s chief medical officer Chris Witty and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam. 

The pair have been encouraging Boris Johnson to implement tougher border controls to stop mutant strains entering the UK, it was reported on Tuesday night. They are particularly concerned about France because a majority of the people travelling from the country are exempt from quarantine measures. In fact, 68 per cent (for the most part, hauliers and drivers) are not required to quarantine.

That said, it is thought unlikely France will be added this week, but it has been added to a watch list and ministers are expected to review its status next week.

On Tuesday, health secretary Matt Hancock played down claims by one of his deputies, Lord Bethell, that European countries could be placed on the list. He said: ““It is now too early to know where the global travel taskforce will come out and know what the decision will be for 17 May.”

Boris Johnson has echoed the messaged, saying that he would be able to say more on April 5 after the government’s travel task force has reported back.

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