France eases COVID travel restrictions for people arriving from UK | World news

People traveling from the UK to France will no longer have to isolate themselves on arrival or prove that their trip is essential from Friday morning, Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced.

However, the requirement for a negative COVID test, performed 24 hours before their visit, remains in place.

Those who give a negative result should also be fully vaccinated.

This decision is a major boost for cross-Channel transport operators and winter sports travel agencies, especially since it precedes the vital semester of February.

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Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu called the announcement a “great relief” and expressed hope that “we have witnessed the latest border closure in the COVID crisis”.

He said: “We have all suffered tremendously over the past two years.

“Healthcare professionals are exhausted and companies in the travel industry are struggling to survive.

“Thousands of Brittany Ferries passengers have been disrupted and millions of pounds of revenue have been lost due to drastic measures like border closures.”

Abby Penlington, director of industry body Discover Ferries, said: “France is one of the most popular vacation destinations for Britons and traditionally January has been a critical month for travel operators as people are starting to book a summer vacation.

“As the ferry industry has continued to operate essential services across the Channel as the border has remained closed, we are confident that its reopening will provide a much needed increase in bookings.”

France reported 361,719 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday

Travel restrictions are relaxed as cases remain high in France – where 361,719 new infections, 246 new deaths and 16 new intensive care unit admissions were confirmed on Wednesday.

France introduced a ban on non-essential travel to and from the UK on December 18 last year in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

People entering the country from Britain must have had “compelling reasons” – those reasons not including tourism and business.

Those allowed to enter France from the UK had to test negative within 24 hours of leaving.

They also had to self-isolate for 48 hours after arriving before taking another test.

Read more from Sky News:
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Great Britain relaxed its own travel restrictions on Friday last week.

Those who are fully vaccinated no longer need a test before arriving in the UK and they can take a lateral flow test – rather than a PCR – after arriving.

The movement sparked a surge of interest in vacation bookings.

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