Travel news live: France lifts UK travel ban today

France will lift its general ban on British travelers from today.

Tourists from the UK who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to re-enter the country for the first time since December 18, without having to provide a “compelling reason” to travel or isolate themselves on arrival.

Travelers must provide a negative result from a Covid test – which can be a lateral flow or PCR test – taken in the 24 hours prior to departure.

The lifting of the ban was confirmed yesterday by French Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, who announced that a decree amending the rules would be published today, with the relaxation of restrictions taking effect immediately from then on.

While Mr. Lemoyne has not given any timing for the change, the independentThe travel reporter, Simon Calder, arrived in France at 4 am this morning and was able to pass through border control without any problems.

The lifting of the travel ban precedes strict new rules for vaccine passports, which will be introduced in France from January 17.

As of Monday, visitors must be fully vaccinated — including a booster shot if their second dose was given more than seven months earlier — to access most indoor locations.

Follow the latest updates below:

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EasyJet reports 600% increase in last-minute French flights

EasyJet has seen a 600 percent increase in last-minute bookings for flights to airports serving French ski resorts after news that France is lifting its ban on British tourists.

Last-minute bookings to Switzerland also peaked immediately after the news broke, with flight bookings up 386 percent, suggesting consumer confidence in international travel continues to grow.

EasyJet will operate 37 routes this winter from the UK to 10 destinations across Europe serving the continent’s main ski areas, with flights starting from £14.99.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, said: “With France once again welcoming British tourists, skiing has made a comeback. This is welcome news for UK consumers, particularly those looking to book a family holiday at the last minute or plan to hit the slopes, with low fares still available this winter on thousands of flights to France, including over the Half time.”

Helen CoffeeJanuary 14, 2022 10:22 am

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What are the rules for traveling to France?

The French ban on British travelers that came into effect on December 18, 2021 has finally ended.

As a UK traveler going on holiday, visiting family or friends or on a business trip you will need proof of full vaccination. To cross the border that means a double shot with Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna, or a single Janssen dose.

You can upload the QR certificates generated by the NHS with your vaccinations to the TousAntiCovid app.

You must also have a negative result on a Covid test (lateral flow is sufficient; PCR not necessary) taken within 24 hours of departure to France.

Read our full explanation of the latest travel rules here:

Simon CalderJanuary 14, 2022 09:42

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The Netherlands eases Omicron lockdown on Saturday

The Netherlands will relax the strict lockdown from Saturday, local media outlets report, subject to consultations with the government later in the day.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms will be allowed to open from January 15, with limit on customer numbers, broadcasters report U.S and RTL, citing government sources.

Students will also be allowed to return to colleges and universities, but bars, restaurants, museums and other attractions are expected to remain closed.

The plans are expected to be finalized by ministers on Friday.

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 14, 2022 09:00

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What it’s like to be the first British tourist back in France

As soon as it was announced that the French border would reopen to British travelers, the independent‘s travel correspondent, Simon Calder, wasted no time crossing the Channel.

Despite there being no official time for the UK travel ban to be lifted, Simon brazenly departed last night on the 11pm DFDS ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe, which was due to arrive in France at 4am this morning.

Armed with his passport, a signed “affidavit” and his passenger arrival form, Simon boarded the four-hour cruise as the sole foot passenger and hoped for the best.

It turned out he was let into France without any problems – confirming that the ban has already been lifted for those traveling from the UK.

“In addition to breathing the icy city air, my biggest concern is keeping my phone on life support and charging roaming data so everyone from cafe owners to museum staff can scan the QR code that unlocks the capital,” he said. , writing from a Parisian cafe this morning.

“This is France, but not quite as we know it.”

Helen CoffeeJanuary 14, 2022 08:21

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Good morning and welcome to the independenttravel live blog. We bring you the latest news and updates throughout the day.

Helen CoffeeJanuary 14, 2022 08:04

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Two Ryanair planes narrowly avoided crash, investigation shows

Two Ryanair planes suffered a near miss at Malaga airport two years ago, an investigation has concluded, nearly colliding in what investigators have termed a “serious incident”.

The official investigation by the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority found yesterday that an air traffic controller at Andalusia airport had cleared a Ryanair flight to land on a runway from which another Ryanair flight had been cleared to take off.

The distance between the two Boeing 737s was, at its shortest, 520 meters – 16 percent of the minimum recommended safety margin, which is the length of the runway (3,200 meters).

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 13, 2022 17:06

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Ski instructor bookings are expected to increase by 300%

Marketplace for ski and snowboard instructors Maison Sport predicts a 300 percent increase in instructor bookings in the next two weeks, compared to the previous period.

The company already saw a record day for bookings this week on Wednesday, as anticipation grew around the prospect of a reopening of France.

Now that the announcement has been made, it expects an “unprecedented rise” in demand for instructors.

Founder and CEO Nick Robinson said: “This is finally more welcome news for the industry, especially for the many local instructors who are incredibly frustrated with the prolonged lifting of border restrictions. Morzine has been particularly affected, with a large number of instructors facing the prospect of no bookings in the coming weeks.

“For many instructors it could now be a matter of going from rags to riches as we expect an unprecedented surge in bookings from now until the end of the season as the majority of clients have waited while waiting for this news before taking the lessons confirmed. .

“With such high availability in late winter, following a slow December, we expect the next two weeks to be the largest in our company’s history, with a projected 300 percent increase in bookings.”

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 13, 2022 15:59

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Travel to Cyprus made slightly cheaper as antigen testing is allowed

Cyprus authorities have announced that antigen or PCR testing will be accepted for pre-travel Covid testing for visitors, meaning slightly lower testing costs for holidaymakers.

The rule change will come in tomorrow morning.

“Passengers aged 12 and over who arrive in Cyprus on January 14 at 5:00 am local time will have the option of having a PCR test performed 72 hours prior to their departure or a rapid antigen test performed up to 24 hours prior to departure is carried out. their departure,” the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works said on Wednesday.

All arrivals aged 12 and over must still undergo a PCR test on arrival at Cyprus airports, at their own expense, regardless of vaccination status.

Travelers who have not yet had a booster shot must undergo another PCR test 72 hours after arrival.

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 13, 2022 3:34 PM

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What will change for French vaccine passports?

A day after most Britons will be allowed back into France, the country’s rules will change around proof of vaccination and access to sites.

On January 6, the French government approved plans to extend its health card (health pass) to a vaccine pass (successful vaccination) – meaning full vaccination will be required to access public areas such as restaurants, bars and public transport.

Until now, the French TousAntiCovid app could be used by people who had not been fully vaccinated – with a recent negative test result rather than vaccine-resistant – but as of Saturday it will only work for fully vaccinated visitors.

Meanwhile, from January 15, everyone over the age of 18 must have received a booster in order to still be considered “fully” vaccinated in France.

There are two different vaccine passes: Mobility (for travel) and Activity (for access to locations such as restaurants and museums).

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 13, 2022 2:41 PM

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RAF pilot to fire space rocket from Virgin jumbo jet later today

A Virgin Orbit space rocket is launched today from a Virgin Atlantic aircraft over the Pacific Ocean, flown by an experienced RAF pilot.

Matthew “Stanny” Stannard will take off around 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time (8:30 p.m. GMT) on a mission to launch the 70ft “space booster”.

The modified Boeing 747-400 — a former Virgin Atlantic passenger jet named Cosmic Girl — will fly over the Pacific Ocean with the missile mounted under its left wing.

About an hour into the flight, the pilot will drop the rocket from about 35,000 feet — at which point the first motor will ignite and launch it into orbit.

Lucy ThackrayJanuary 13, 2022 13:53

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