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Holidays to France are back on as travel rules relaxed

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Brits can once again travel to France for any reason after the country lifted its ban on Brits crossing its borders for non-essential reasons.

French tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced that from this morning (Friday), people travelling from the UK to France will no longer have to self-isolate on arrival or show proof their trip is essential.

However, arrivals into France from the UK will need to be fully vaccinated and also need to provide a negative Covid test taken 24 hours before their visit.

The move will be welcomed by ski tour operators, airlines and cross channel ferries who have seen business impacted by the ban implemented in December.

Brits have been unable to go to France for non-essential reasons, including holidays, since 17 December due to the rapid spread of Omicron in the UK at the time. 

Those who had a ‘compelling reason’ to travel had to have a negative test within 24 hours of their departure and then isolate for 48 hours after arrival before taking another test.

Rory Boland, Which? head of travel, said: “France’s decision to lift the UK travel ban for vaccinated tourists will be welcome news for anyone hoping to travel there soon. Fully vaccinated travellers will be required to book a Covid test via a private provider and show evidence of a negative result before arriving in France.

“However, international travel remains unpredictable and anyone booking a trip abroad could risk losing some or all of their money if rule changes mean they can no longer travel to their destination.

“If you’re planning a trip abroad, book a package holiday if possible, as these come with stronger financial protections, and choose a provider with a flexible booking policy to safeguard your money. A good travel insurance policy will continue to be essential, and it’s also advisable to book with a credit card to give yourself further protection.”

The UK relaxed its own travel testing rules last week. Fully vaccinated people arriving in England now just need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two after arriving and, if positive, a further PCR test to help identify any new variants at the border.