The spread of the so-called Indian variant of Covid-19 in the UK could threaten Brits’ summer getaways, it has been warned.
Germany has imposed stricter rules on British travellers, and it is reported France could look to do the same shortly.
"We worry about the Indian variant and we remain on high alert regarding that matter, in co-operation with British authorities," France’s foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio, Sky News reports.
Le Drian said the UK could be placed in its own "slighter tougher" tier of Covid restrictions, somewhere between France’s measures for travellers from India and those for visitors from other EU countries.
He added: "It won’t be the red treatment if we have to do it. It will be an intermediate treatment."
UK arrivals in France must current present evidence of a negative PCR test for Covid-19 taken up to 72 hours prior to departure; they must also isolate for seven days on arrival and take a second PCR test.
France, meanwhile, is on the UK’s amber list, meaning arrivals must take a pre-departure test, and then isolate for 10 days upon their return taking tests on days two and eight of their return.
The country last week pledged to reopen to visitors from 9 June, with national tourism development agency Atout France putting €10 million behind a new tourism push.
Last week, UK transport secretary Grant Shapps told The Financial Times it was his belief there would be summer holiday travel to the European mainland this summer, but he urged people to be patient. "I don’t think people have a very long time to wait before other countries are able to join the green list," he said.
With regards to France, Shapps said the country was around six to eight weeks behind the UK in terms of vaccination.
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said the situation underlined the fragility of efforts to reopen travel this summer.
"The suggestion that UK travellers may face stricter rules when travelling to France is yet another example of the perilously unpredictable nature of international travel this year," he said. "The country’s status on the UK’s amber list will already have caused confusion for people about what travel was safe and permitted, and this only adds a new layer of uncertainty.
"It demonstrates just how important it is for anyone thinking about booking a trip in the next few months to do so with a travel company that has the most flexible booking policies available, so they are protected against any disruption. We would advise anyone with a trip to France booked not to cancel, as you may lose your right to a refund, but wait for further information."