Ire, chaos as UK adds France to quarantine list
Britain is further easing Covid-19 restrictions from Saturday, but its decision to add France to a list of countries from where returning passengers would have to undergo quarantine has sparked chaos and has irked Paris.
The UK will allow marriage receptions for up to 30 people and reopening casinos, skating rinks and beauty salons. Fines for those not wearing masks have bee doubled to £3,200. New fines were introduced for people hosting rave parties or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.
The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from Saturday with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from October 1.
British holidaymakers faced a scramble to get home on Friday after the government said it will reimpose a 14-day quarantine for travellers from France and the Netherlands, prompting Paris to quickly announce a “reciprocal measure”.
The UK government said the change will kick in on Saturday, likely sparking a mass exodus among the estimated 160,000 British holidaymakers currently in France.
The head of France’s national health service said Paris and Marseille have been declared at-risk zones for the coronavirus as authorities observed a sharp increase in Covid-19 infections.
Jerome Salomon warned “the situation is deteriorating from week to week” in the country. He said virus clusters are emerging every day following family reunions, big parties and other gatherings amid summer holidays.
New Zealand’s government on Friday extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland for another 12 days as it tries to stamp out its first domestic outbreak in more than three months, which has grown to 30 people and extended beyond Auckland for the first time.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has lifted a three-week lockdown in the city of Kaesong after a suspected case of the coronavirus there. Authorities locked down the city bordering South Korea, and declared an emergency in the area last month after a North Korean who had defected to the South slipped back into the town.