Easing of French ban on UK travellers to be announced 'by end of the week'
France is to announce an easing of border restrictions with the UK by the “end of the week”, a French government spokesperson has said.
Speaking after a meeting of France’s Defence and Security Council in Paris, Gabriel Attal said: “An extra easing of the border restrictions with the UK is going to be announced in the coming days.”
Mr Attal said that the French government was working on finalising the details but gave no clue as to exactly when the rules would be loosened, nor did he confirm whether tourists would definitely be allowed to enter the country.
He added that if Omicron continued to be the dominant variant in France then “obviously we will continue to lighten the restrictions”.
French National Assembly member Alexandre Holroyd, who represents the country’s expatriates living in the UK, had stated on Tuesday that a “significant easing of travel restrictions will be announced very soon”, raising hopes that a further announcement would be made today.
The lack of clarity following today’s meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and high-ranking cabinet ministers will come as a disappointment to the ski industry and travellers hoping to get away to France for a ski holiday this winter.
However one travel agent, Ski Line, is already selling ski trips departing on Saturday in anticipation of the travel ban being axed.
The Kent-based company said: “French holidays could be back on this weekend. We are expecting the French government to make an announcement this Wednesday to confirm that British vaccinated skiers can enter France from this Saturday.”
France first introduced the ban on tourist travel on 18 December, in response to concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The rules were eased last week to allow business travel for those with a compelling reason. Those wishing to enter France from the UK must be fully vaccinated and provide evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within 24 hours before departure.
Upon arrival they must self-isolate for 48 hours and then take another test.It is not yet clear if the testing requirements will stay the same or also be eased.