France is set to lift its UK travel ban from today, almost one month after they closed the borders to British travelers. France is amongst the most popular foreign destinations for British travelers to visit for vacations, and it is also home to a sizable expatriate community of Brits, and so it is a decision that is bound to be well received by both travelers from the UK and those in the travel and tourism industry in France.
The move has been made despite considerable positive cases of Covid-19 still being recorded by both Britain and France, and travel companies have reported spikes in booking activity following the announcement of the rule change yesterday evening. Here’s everything you need to know about France lifting its UK travel ban, plus a look at the Covid-19 situation in France and what British travelers will need to enter.
Travel Ban Lifted – Information For Travelers
The travel ban for British travelers was first introduced on December 18th, during a time when both countries were dealing with a significant number of Omicron cases, and it was hoped that it would help prevent the number of cases of the variant from spiraling further. However, just four weeks after the ban was announced, it has been relaxed once more, having had little impact on France’s overall Covid-19 situation.
The easing of the rules means that fully vaccinated travelers from the UK will be able to visit France once more without needing a “compelling reason” to do so, and without having to self-isolate once they have arrived. The original rule change saw thousands of would-be visitors to France forced to cancel their trips, throwing festive travel plans into disrepute, but the hours since the announcement have a considerable number of travelers booking trips to France once more.
Jet2 reported a sharp rise in the number of flights to France booked, whilst the tour company Tui claimed that the number of ski trips to the country had doubled. British travel agent trade association ABTA said:
“Thousands of people head to France for ski breaks at this time of year, so this will be a huge relief for customers with holidays booked there for the next few weeks, who have been waiting anxiously for news.”
Travel companies specialising in travel to France also rejoiced at the news of the rule change. Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu described the news as a “great relief” that entrance was made possible once more, whilst the Channel Tunnel train company Eurostar said it would “continue to increase the frequency of our services in the coming weeks” in order to satisfy the expected demand.
In order to be able to enter France, fully vaccinated travelers from the UK will need a negative Covid-19 test taken 24 hours before leaving the country. This can be either a negative PCR or lateral flow test. They must also provide a provide a “sworn statement” that confirms they are not currently suffering from any Covid-19 symptoms, and that they have not been in contact with any confirmed cases of the virus in the last two weeks. However, unvaccinated travelers will still need a “compelling reason” in order 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 eating and drinking on long distance transport, as well as limiting cafés and bars to table service only. The country has also recently introduced a controversial vaccine pass as it aims to bring cases of the virus back down to manageable levels.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories