United Kingdom

Boris hints France could go on travel red list ‘very soon’

France could be added to the red list, meaning most travel to the UK would be banned (Picture: Rex)

France could soon be added to the red list of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned, Boris Johnson has suggested.

The Prime Minister said restrictions on hauliers would have a big impact because of the extent to which the UK is reliant on imports.

But if necessary he will take a decision, ‘no matter how tough’ it has to be.

‘We now, in all seriousness, need to look at the situation at the Channel,’ he told the liaisons committee.

‘l’m afraid we can’t rule out tougher measures and we’ll put them in if necessary’.

Some regions of France are reporting relatively high levels of the South African variant, which scientists fear is more resistant to the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine.

The PM said a decision could be made ‘very soon’ amid the surge in cases.

‘We will take a decision no matter how tough to interrupt that trade and to interrupt those flows, if we think that it is necessary to protect public health and to stop new variants coming in and it may be that we have to do that very soon,’ he said.

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Foreign travel is still banned under lockdown rules, with a £5,000 fine for anyone caught going on holiday to come into force on Monday.

The Government has previously set May 17 as the earliest date going abroad will be allowed.

Mr Johnson said he’ll be setting out what travel may be possible from May 17 on April 5 but admitted: ‘Things are looking difficult on the Continent and we’ll have to look at the situation as it develops’.

Earlier Labour called on Mr Johnson to add France to the red list, meaning arrivals would have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

New variants from abroad are seen as the biggest threat to the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The PM admitted yesterday that we must be ‘wary’ of the potential for a third wave.

More to follow

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