France has become the latest European country to introduce restrictions on UK tourists due to the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant.
France has become the latest European country to introduce restrictions on UK tourists due to the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant. The French government has announced that from 31 May only essential travel from the UK will be allowed. A week's self-isolation is also required. Germany imposed a two-week quarantine on UK arrivals last week. Austria has banned direct UK flights from 1 June. By last week, the UK had recorded 3,424 cases of the B.1.617.2 variant. That number had risen by 2,111 cases from the previous week. England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has said the Indian variant is "more transmittable" than the UK variant first identified in Kent, which was responsible for the UK's deadly wave of coronavirus infections this winter. "We expect, over time, this variant to overtake and come to dominate in the UK," he said. However, a study earlier this week found that two injections of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines offered a similar level of protection against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant as from the Kent one. But protection after a first dose was lower in the Indian variant compared with the Kent variant, with 33% and 50% effectiveness respectively.
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