File photo of France's European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune Photograph:( AFP )
France was singled out from British givernment's list due to concern over the "persistent presence" of the Beta variant, which is believed to be more resistant to vaccines
France on Thursday expressed its displeasure at having been excluded from the list of countries citizens of which will not have to quarantine on arrival in England
Next week onwards, citizens from 'amber' list of Britain's traffic light list, who are fully vaccinated by jabs approved by US Food and Drug Administration or European Medicines Agency (EMA) would not have to self isolate prior to travel to England. France is the only exception to this rule.
France's European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune called the decision "discriminatory towards French people,"
"It is excessive and makes no sense in terms of health policy," he told the LCI TV channel, adding that "it has no foundation in science".
France was singled out due to British government's concern over the "persistent presence" of the Beta variant, which is believed to be more resistant to vaccines.
But Beaune said the Delta strain accounted for fewer than five percent of Covid cases in France, and mostly occurred in overseas territories from where relatively few people travelled to the UK.
Beaune also said he regretted that travellers from the EU could still not enter the United States, even though American tourists can easily come to EU countries so long as they are vaccinated or have a negative Covid test.
"We should have kept reciprocity as a trump card up our sleeves at the European level," he said. "Perhaps Europe overall should have been tougher in the negotiations."
France on Wednesday reported just under 28,000 new Covid cases for the previous 24 hours and 40 new deaths from the virus.
A total of 111,768 people have died from Covid in France, according to health authorities.
(With inputs from agencies)