France lifts ban on UK holidaymakers

- Advertisement -

France will lift its ban on UK holidaymakers from Friday morning, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has announced.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter France if they have evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within 24 hours of departure.

The requirement to isolate on arrival will be scrapped.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said his French counterpart, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, told him the decision to ease restrictions is due to “the UK’s falling infection rate”.

People who are not fully vaccinated will continue to need a “compelling reason” to enter France from the UK.

Lifting the tourism ban will mean thousands of people in the UK who have booked ski holidays in France will be able to travel.

Brittany Ferries chief executive, Christophe Mathieu, described the announcement as a “great relief” and expressed hope that “we have seen the last border closure of the Covid crisis”.

He said: “We’ve all suffered enormously over the last two years.

“Healthcare professionals are exhausted and businesses in the travel sector have struggled to survive.

“Thousands of Brittany Ferries passengers have been disrupted and millions of pounds in income has been lost as a consequence of draconian measures like border closures.”

Chris Logan, managing director of Britain’s biggest winter sports operator Crystal Ski, said he was “delighted” by the announcement after a “challenging start to the season”.

He continued: “I’m feeling really optimistic. We’ve seen a steady increase in searches and bookings in the last two weeks.

“Bookings to France doubled yesterday – even before the announcement – and we would expect to see another very positive uptick now it’s official.”

Brighton-based tour operator Ski Beat will resume taking UK customers to France on Saturday.

Sales and marketing director Laura Hazell said the firm has “lots of relieved and happy customers” who were awaiting news.

The company’s phones are “ringing off the hook” and it has seen an “immediate surge in internet bookings”, she added.

A spokesman for travel trade organisation Abta said: “France is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers.

“Thousands of people head there for ski breaks at this time of year, so this will be a huge relief.”

France introduced the ban on non-essential travel to and from the UK on December 18 in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which has since become the dominant strain in the country.

Julia Simpson, boss of the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council, said closing borders once a variant is endemic is “pointless” and “only damages livelihoods”.

The UK eased its own travel restrictions last week.

People who are fully vaccinated no longer have to take a Covid test before they arrive in the UK, and can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than a PCR test after they arrive.

The changes save a family of four around £300.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.