Juliet Walton, 50, a British citizen who lives in southwest France, is traveling to the United Kingdom on July 24 for her daughter’s 22nd birthday party. Now with the new restrictions, Ms. Walton will have to quarantine on her arrival.
With “Brexit and a pandemic, it’s just an absolute nightmare,” Ms. Walton said. “It’s just so ill-thought out and unnecessary. I’ve had both my jabs. I was looking forward to getting some sort of normality.”
Callum Sowler, 35, who flew to the south of France on Tuesday to visit his fiancée’s family, will now have to quarantine with his fiancée and their son, who joined him on Friday for the summer holidays, when they return to England.
“It’s turned what was supposed to be a fun holiday into something that’s now caused us loss of sleep last night and stress this morning, because we really don’t know what to do for the best now,” Mr. Sowler said.
Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, a French member of the European Parliament and an oncologist, said, “I really don’t understand the decision,” adding that the Beta variant was “not an issue in mainland France,” but more so in Réunion Island, a French department about 4,000 miles from Europe, off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Some research has shown that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, the backbone of Britain’s inoculation campaign, has been less effective in preventing mild and moderate Beta cases, which Ms. Trillet-Lenoir said could be a motivation behind the British government’s decision to announce the new restrictions..
“The majority of English people have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine, which is a good [vaccine], but not that powerful against some variants, and especially against the Beta variant,” she said. “There is nothing to be frightened about as far as people coming from France are concerned.”