France lifts ban on UK holidaymakers with negative Covid tests

Vaccinated British tourist will be able to travel to France from tomorrow

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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.

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

This is a major boost for cross-Channel transport operators and winter sports travel firms, particularly as it comes ahead of the vital February half-term period.

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.”

Mr Mathieu went on to urge people to “embrace” coronavirus vaccines to “halt this cycle of pain and frustration”.

Abby Penlington, director at industry body Discover Ferries, said: “France is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits and traditionally January is a critical month for travel operators as people start to book summer holidays.

“While the ferry industry has continued to operate essential services across the Channel while the border remained closed, we’re confident that its reopening will provide a much-needed uplift in bookings.”

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, but that has since become the dominant strain in the country.

The UK eased its own travel restrictions last week.

People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to take a coronavirus 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.