'I was scared': home-coming French expats relieved to escape Britain

PARIS (Reuters) - Sam Cabral, a French expatriate living in Britain, expressed relief on Wednesday as she stepped off a Eurostar train from London, becoming one of the first people to make the trip after a travel ban imposed over COVID-19 worries was eased. 'I’m very happy to be home and actually I’m going to .. go and see my mum and dad, put on a mask and give them a hug,” she said on arrival at the Gare du Nord station in Paris.

Reuters December 24, 2020 00:11:07 IST
'I was scared': home-coming French expats relieved to escape Britain

I was scared homecoming French expats relieved to escape Britain

PARIS (Reuters) - Sam Cabral, a French expatriate living in Britain, expressed relief on Wednesday as she stepped off a Eurostar train from London, becoming one of the first people to make the trip after a travel ban imposed over COVID-19 worries was eased.

"I’m very happy to be home and actually I’m going to .. go and see my mum and dad, put on a mask and give them a hug,” she said on arrival at the Gare du Nord station in Paris.

Cabral recalled her reaction when she realised the ban, imposed by the French authorities late on Sunday, could torpedo her Christmas travel plans and leave her stranded in Britain, where she has no family.

"I said to myself , 'Oh my God.'"

She said she ate some foie gras, a traditional French delicacy consumed at Christmas, for consolation, but added that nevertheless "I was a bit scared".

France and many other countries halted passenger traffic from Britain because of an outbreak of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus identified by British authorities.

Traffic started flowing again across the Channel from Britain to France on Wednesday morning after London and Paris negotiated a deal.

Under the agreement, only certain categories of people are allowed to travel from Britain to France, and they need to prove they have tested negative for COVID-19.

Another French expatriate arriving in Paris on Wednesday, Albert Khayat, described the scramble to try to comply with the new rules.

"I was trying to get out of London. We got the news at 7 p.m." on Tuesday evening. He said he was advised to get tested at the train station in London, which he did on Wednesday morning before boarding.

"The scandal is ... tests in Britain, which cost 160 pounds ($216) for each test," said Khayat. "Not everyone has that luxury."

($1 = 0.7396 pounds)

(Reporting by Maxime Lahuppe and Thierry Chiarello, Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.