Many travelers to England may skip quarantine as of Monday, but not those from France, where Beta is present.

By Aina J. Khan, Ron DePasquale and Lauren McCarthy

British medical officials announced on Friday that fully vaccinated travelers arriving in England from France must continue to quarantine because of the threat posed by the Beta variant, though vaccinated travelers from other European nations on Britain’s medium-risk amber list will no longer have to quarantine as of Monday.

Monday is being celebrated as England’s “freedom day,” when almost all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted. The British decision angered many whose travel plans to and from France have been disrupted by the new restrictions.

Travelers from France — along with anyone who has traveled to France in the prior 10 days — must quarantine for five to 10 days in their own accommodation, and they will need a coronavirus test on Day 2 and Day 8.

This is one of the country’s first major actions related to the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa. Clinical trials show that vaccines offer less protection against Beta. Until now, Britain has been focused on the threat from the Delta variant, first identified in India, which is now dominant in Britain and France as well as the United States.

The Beta variant accounts for 3.4 percent of new cases in France over the past four weeks according to GISAID, an international open source database.

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