Vaccinated Britons in France frustrated by ‘inconsistent’ new quarantine rules

Britons in France have described their “frustration” after discovering they will need to quarantine when returning home, despite being fully vaccinated.

From Monday, double-jabbed residents arriving into England from countries on the Government’s amber list will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days – except if they are arriving from France.

The Government has said this is due to the “persistent presence” of the Beta coronavirus variant in the nation.

Georgina Thomas, a fully-vaccinated nurse from Buckinghamshire, has been visiting her parents in the countryside between La Rochelle and Bordeaux for the last three weeks with her one-year-old daughter Grace.

“I’m frustrated with the inconsistent approach the Government are taking, it doesn’t all appear logical,” the 32-year-old told the PA news agency.

“If a quarantine is necessary then so be it but I’m confident that my risk will be higher when I return to the UK.

“I hope people don’t see this as a disincentive to be vaccinated, it’s still so important.”

Ms Thomas is still on maternity leave and said of quarantining on her return: “It will be a long 10 days but we are the fortunate ones, I understand that, plenty will think we shouldn’t be travelling anyway.”

Georgina Thomas with her one-year-old daughter Grace (Georgina Thomas)
Georgina Thomas with her one-year-old daughter Grace (Georgina Thomas)

Graham McLeod, from Bolton, is staying in his holiday home in Charente Maritime on France’s Atlantic coast with his partner, but they will now have to self-isolate when they return to the UK despite being fully vaccinated.

“In terms of government messaging, we’d say it’s inconsistent, irregular, unclear and frankly unworkable,” the 63-year-old retiree told PA.

“We struggle to understand the sudden desire to introduce quarantine for returnees from France and cannot help feel this has far more to do with politics and much less to do with science.”

Mr McLeod had planned to stay in France for five weeks, but they are now planning to return after less than three weeks.

“We could stay and hope the situation changes but given the knee-jerk reaction by the UK government we cannot take the chance in case the situation deteriorates further,” he added.

Coronavirus – Fri May 7, 2021
Grant Shapps announced the quarantine rule change (Tolga Akmen/PA)

Debbie from Essex, who did not wish to share her second name, runs a chalet with her family in France which is set to take a financial hit as a result of the UK’s new Covid isolation rules.

“We started in January 2020 so we haven’t had a chance to get going,” the 49-year-old told PA.

“Bookings were just starting to pick up and we’ve been helped by European guests but this affects our vaccinated UK guests.

Debbie said it costs her family over 3,000 euros per month to keep business going so they have had to borrow to keep it afloat.

“It seems to me that this is political game-playing… it’s like watching a tennis match and the people are the ball,” she added.