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France is the second-most-visited country for UK citizens

People coming to the UK from France and the Netherlands will be forced to quarantine for 14 days from Saturday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the measure – which also applies to people travelling from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba, would kick in from 04:00 BST.

He added that this was necessary to keep coronavirus infections down.

The government’s decision follows a surge in cases in the countries affected in recent days.

According to the data company Statista, people from the UK paid 10.35 million visits to France last year, putting it second behind Spain – with 18.12 million – in terms of popularity.

The quarantine measure was imposed for Spain on 25 July.

On Thursday, France reported 2,524 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the highest daily increase since its lockdown was lifted in May.

The country’s Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said on Tuesday that coronavirus numbers had been going “the wrong way” for a fortnight.

The Foreign Office is warning against “all but essential travel” to France.

The ending of more so-called “travel corridors” – allowing movement between the UK and the other countries with the need to self-isolate on return to the UK – follows a “significant change” in the risk of contracting Covid-19, the Department for Transport said.

It added that there had been a 66% increase in newly reported cases per 100,000 people in France since last Friday.

For the Netherlands, it was up 52%. And the increase for Malta was 105%, while it was 273% for Turks and Caicos and 1,106% for Aruba.

Ahead of a government meeting on quarantine measures on Thursday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to be “absolutely ruthless” in deciding on rules for holidaymakers from abroad.

“We can’t be remotely complacent about our own situation. Everybody understands that in a pandemic you don’t allow our population to be re-infected or the disease to come back in,” he added.

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