Following the decision by more than 40 countries to ban flights, train passengers and ferry arrivals from the UK, there were signs on Monday afternoon that a new formula would be introduced to allow international travel from the UK.
Sunday’s border closure moves followed the announcement by the UK government of a more contagious mutation of the Covid 19 virus.
The British government reacted to the more rapid spread of the virus in London and the south-east of England by introducing tough new Tier 4 measures.
Non-essential shops were closed and a travel advisory has been put in place advising Brits to stay at home, even over Christmas Day itself.
The UK decision caused outrage from struggling businesses and a shockwave of disappointment as families prepared to meet again, often after long periods of isolation. Only four days previously PM Boris Johnson had said that it would be “inhuman” to stop families meeting over Christmas.
On Monday, a number of UK supermarkets warned of shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables in the run-up to Christmas.
The likely short-term fix will involve travellers from the UK supplying evidence of a negative coronavirus test.
However, by 23:30 on Monday no formula had been agreed among European states and bilateral arrangements seem more likely. The UK premier, Boris Johnson, said on Monday evening that follwoing a conversation with President Macron he expected a solution “within hours.”
France is motivated to end the blockade in part because 300,000 of its nationals in the UK have plans to return to France for Christmas.
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron, himself suffering from Covid 19, has been at the forefront of talks to reopen border with UK Reuters