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France will lift its travel ban on the UK from today, nearly a month after closing its borders to British travelers. France is one of the most popular overseas destinations for British travelers to holiday, and it’s also home to a sizable expat community of Brits, so it’s a decision that will no doubt be well received by travelers from the UK and the UK alike. those in the travel and tourism industry in France.
The move has been made despite significant positive cases of Covid-19 still being recorded by both Britain and France, and travel companies have reported spikes in booking activity following the rule change announcement last night. Here’s everything you need to know about France lifting its travel ban on the UK, plus a look at the Covid-19 situation in France and what UK travelers need to put in place.
Travel ban lifted – Information for travelers
The travel ban on British travelers was first introduced on December 18, at a time when both countries were dealing with a significant number of Omicron cases, and it was hoped it would help prevent further cases of the variant from rising. However, just four weeks after the ban was announced, it has been relaxed again, with little impact on the overall Covid-19 situation in France.
The relaxation of the rules means that fully vaccinated travelers from the UK can revisit France without a “compelling reason” to do so, and without having to self-isolate once they arrive. The original rule change forced thousands of potential visitors to France to cancel their trips, discrediting celebratory travel plans, but the hours since the announcement have seen a significant number of travelers rebook trips to France.
Jet2 reported a sharp rise in the number of flights booked to France, while tour company Tui claimed the number of ski trips to the country had doubled. The British travel agency trade association ABTA said:
“Thousands of people flock to France for skiing holidays at this time of year, so this will be a huge relief for customers who have booked a holiday there in the coming weeks and have been eagerly awaiting news.”
Travel companies specializing in travel to France also welcomed the news of the rule change. Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, described the news as a “great relief” that access was reopened, while Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar said it would “continue to increase the frequency of our services in the coming weeks” to meet meet the expected demand.
To enter France, fully vaccinated travelers from the UK need a negative Covid-19 test taken 24 hours before leaving the country. This could be a negative PCR or a lateral flow test. They must also provide an “affidavit” confirming that they currently have no Covid-19 symptoms and that they have not been in contact with confirmed cases of the virus in the past two weeks. However, unvaccinated travelers will still need a “compelling reason” to enter for the time being.
France currently has an average of just over 280,000 positive cases of Covid-19 per day. The country has also banned food and drink in long-distance transportation and has restricted cafes and bars to table service only. The country has also recently introduced a controversial vaccine pass as it aims to reduce cases of the virus to manageable levels.
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions is subject to change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Before travelling, please contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm the entry of your nationality and/or any changes to the travel requirements. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice