France's travel restrictions explained and when the ban on UK tourists could end

by 24britishtvJan. 12, 2022, 5 p.m. 15
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France is preparing to reopen its borders to UK holidaymakers within days.

The rise of the Omicron variant caused the French Government to ban all non-essential travel from the UK in December.

It slightly relaxed its rules earlier this week, allowing people to enter for business reasons.

But France now appears ready to drop the ban altogether – here’s everything you need to know.

When will France end its UK travel ban?

Alexandre Holroyd, a French National Assembly member who represents the country’s expatriates living in the UK, said a “significant easing of travel restrictions will be announced very soon”.

He added that details will be confirmed “in the days to come”.

President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Jean Castex, Health Minister Olivier Véran and several other ministers were scheduled to meet today, with the UK travel ban likely to be on the agenda.

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

This will be a major boost to winter sports travel firms, particularly ahead of the vital February half-term period.

One travel agent, Ski Line, is selling ski trips from the UK to France departing on Saturday in anticipation of the travel ban being axed.

The Kent-based firm 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.”

It told potential customers they could be “one of the few lucky skiers in France this weekend”, adding that they will get a full refund before Friday if no announcement on the travel ban being lifted is made.

Who can travel to France?

At present, the list of essential reasons for travelling from the UK to France includes:
• Being married to, in a civil partnership with, living with or being the child of a French citizen
• EU citizenship, so long as a person’s main residence is in France or they are travelling through France to reach their residence in another EU country
• Being married to, in a civil partnership with, living with or being the child of an EU citizen, so long as their main residence is in France or they are travelling through France to reach their residence in another EU country
• Residency in France or another EU country if a person is travelling through France to reach this residence
• Citizens of other countries holding a long-stay visa issued for purposes of ordinary family reunion or refugee family reunification
• Business reasons that require an on-site presence (which cannot be postponed)

What tests do I need to go to France?

Arrivals from the UK aged 12 and over must present a negative PCR or lateral flow test result taken within 24 hours of departure.

They must provide a “sworn statement” to confirm they are not suffering from any Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.

They must also confirm they have an essential reason to travel, with proof from their employer if the trip is being undertaken for business reasons.

Upon arrival in France, all travellers must self-isolate for 48 hours, after which time a negative PCR or lateral flow test is required to exit self-isolation. Without a negative test result, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

These cannot be self-administered tests. They must be taken by a professional at a testing site or pharmacy.

France’s passe sanitaire vaccine passport – which grants access to public places such as museums and restaurants – is also likely to require a booster vaccination from 15 January.

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