France changes Covid travel rules for British tourists
Tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has announced that France is lifting the Covid restrictions on arrivals from the UK that were imposed in December amid fears about the spread of the Omicron variant.
Vaccinated individuals traveling from the UK to France will no longer need to provide a compelling reason to enter the country or self-isolate on arrival. However, a negative Covid test taken 24 hours before leaving Britain will still be required.
The measures had been introduced on December 18, effectively limiting all non-essential travel between the two countries. Non-vaccinated people will nonetheless still be required to prove their trip is essential and isolate for 10 days.
Permitting the entry of visitors from the UK will provide a significant boost to France’s tourism sector during February’s UK school vacation period. Addressing the ruling, Brittany Ferries Chief Executive Christophe Mathieu called it a “great relief” and said he hoped the previous regulations would represent “the last border closure of the Covid crisis.”
The relaxation of restrictions comes despite France itself having registered a record number of new daily infections on Wednesday, with 338,858 new cases having been confirmed, according to the World Health Organization.
Alongside the aforementioned international rules, surging case numbers saw it implement domestic restrictions in January, making working from home compulsory for those who can, limiting public gatherings, and closing nightclubs.
The French parliament is in the process of introducing a Covid pass that would effectively ban unvaccinated individuals from public life. This sparked widespread national protests over the weekend that saw more than 100,000 people come out to oppose the new measures. The bill has been passed by the lower house and must now secure support from the senate before it can formally come into effect.