Access to France made easier as country relaxes border rules

FULLY vaccinated Islanders with proof of a recent negative Covid test will be able to travel to France restriction-free from Wednesday after the country’s government changed its border rules.

The slight easing of restrictions in some areas has not been enough to provide confidence to ferry operator Manche-Iles Express, which has announced that the suspension of its services will continue until further notice. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31003249)
The slight easing of restrictions in some areas has not been enough to provide confidence to ferry operator Manche-Iles Express, which has announced that the suspension of its services will continue until further notice. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31003249)

At the end of last month Gabriel Attal, the nation’s official spokesperson, revealed that from 31 May no one would be able to enter from the UK or Channel Islands unless they had an ‘essential reason’ for travel. This did not include family reasons or visiting second homes and came in response to the emergence of the Indian variant of Covid-19.

But authorities have now altered their position and are introducing a traffic-light system, with all jurisdictions within the Common Travel Area being rated ‘amber’ from tomorrow.

As a result, anyone travelling to France from Jersey can enter the country without an essential reason – provided they are fully vaccinated and have a negative result from a Covid test conducted within 72 hours before departure.

The move coincides with the removal of rules preventing restaurant diners from eating indoors. A nationwide curfew will remain in place but will be extended from 6am until 11pm. It was previously 6am to 9pm.

However, with all of mainland France classed as ‘red’ by Jersey, those travelling back to the Island would need to be prepared to isolate until receiving a negative result from their day-ten test.

A Government of Jersey spokesperson has confirmed that vaccination certificates will be sent to all vaccinated Islanders’ registered addresses. Anyone wishing to check their registered address can do so by logging into their ‘OneGov’ account or by calling Customer and Local Services on 444444.

The slight easing of restrictions in some areas has not been enough to provide confidence to ferry operator Manche-Iles Express, which has announced that the suspension of its services will continue until further notice.

A spokesperson for the La-Manche-Council-owned company said: ‘After a year [2020] marked by the closure of Guernsey, Sark and Alderney and the access restrictions to Jersey, the [council] and the company have decided to suspend crossings for an indefinite period.

‘As a new season begins, the Channel Islands are still restricting their access very strictly. Faced with these constraints, the Department felt that it did not seem reasonable to offer rotations in 2021.’

Manche-Iles Express last operated a crossing to Jersey from Granville on 25 July last year and said that Covid-related border restrictions imposed by Jersey had led to a ‘drastic’ drop in passenger numbers. It normally operates crossings between Jersey, Sark, Guernsey and three ports in Normandy.

Condor continues to run services between Jersey and St Malo.

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