11:46 GMT27 September 2020
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    The comments came as Britain’s Priti Patel announced obligatory 14-day quarantines for arriving citizens and tourists for fear of the resurgence of the contagious novel virus, sparking a backlash from European neighbours.

    Global airlines have urged governments not to resort to politics when it comes to coronavirus border controls, after Britain and France exchanged reciprocal quarantine rules.

    Alexandre de Juniac, head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), noted that any epidemic-induced border restrictions should be motivated purely by science and completely exclude political context.

    "Tit-for-tat quarantine measures unacceptable", he told an online weekly news conference, adding later that IATA would not comment on the steps taken by individual states in this regard.

    In the meantime, France has indicated it is set to take counter-measures in response to post-Brexit Britain announcing a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from mainland Europe, including France, starting on 8 June.

    A spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry has been quoted as stressing that they will bear in mind the British government’s decision “and regret it”.  He went on to say France is ready to put in place a reciprocal measure as soon as the scheme is in place.

    Italy, at one point Europe’s COVID hot spot, has also called for the UK to reconsider its stance and said that jointly with the EU it should work out a “coordinated approach” to lifting across-the-board lockdowns.

    UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday revealed that anyone arriving in the UK, including nationals returning from holidays abroad, would be required under UK law to stay at home for a fortnight or risk being hit with fines of £1,000.

    "We are following the science and introducing public health measures that are supported by SAGE. This will require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days – that is the incubation period of the virus so that if people have become infected overseas, we can limit the spread of the virus at home", Patel explained.

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    Tags:
    EU, France, UK, Priti Patel, airlines, lockdown, quarantine, COVID-19
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