France lifts travel ban for Brits as it eases restrictions from this week

By Julie Delahaye

France holidays are back on the cards for Brits, as the country has just lifted its travel ban for arrivals from the UK.

Fully vaccinated visitors arriving from the UK will no longer need an essential reason to travel, meaning holidays are once again allowed.

Meanwhile, the country is also scrapping a requirement for UK visitors to self-isolate on arrival.

Tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne confirmed the news on Twitter, adding that the new rules come into force from tomorrow (Friday 14 January).

However, there are still entry rules in place such as needing proof of a negative Covid test result taken within 24 hours of before arrival in France.

It's also worth noting that from January 15, anyone aged 18-64 who have been fully vaccinated for more than seven months will need to demonstrate they have received an approved COVID-19 booster injection to get a 'pass sanitaire' in France, which you need to access the likes of bars, restaurants and museums.

France joins an existing list of countries open to Brits for holidays, which also includes the likes of Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey.

The country had brought in strict restrictions for UK travellers back in December 2021 amidst fears over the spread of the Omicron variant.

It was a huge blow to thousands of holidaymakers as the country is popular in winter thanks to its brilliant destinations for ski holidays.

However, the new easing of restrictions does offer some hope for those keen to hit the slopes.

Estelle Giraudeau, Managing Director, UK & Northern Europe at Club Med has said that the news has "saved the season", adding that following the news of lifted ban this morning, the all-inclusive holidays brand has seen a 60% increase in web traffic.

Rules for travelling to France now

Fully vaccinated Brits can visit France without a need for an essential reason, however you will need to be able to show proof of vaccination, alongside a negative Covid test result taken within 24 hours before arrival.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will still need an essential reason to visit France.

You can find out more about France's travel rules and Covid requirements in the Foreign Office's latest France travel advice.

It's worth noting that the country also has a series of Covid measures in place, including limits on how many people can attend certain events, and face mask requirements.

People aged 12 and over will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status through the “pass sanitaire” in order to access services and venues such as bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas, hospitals, retirement homes and modes of transport such as long distance train and bus journeys and planes.

France is a popular ski holiday destination (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This can be acquired if you have proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the last 24 hours, or a document showing proof of recovery from Covid.

From January 15, anyone aged 18-64 who have been fully vaccinated for more than seven months will also need to demonstrate they have received an approved COVID-19 booster injection in order to access the 'pass sanitaire' in France.

As for face masks?

According to the UK Foreign Office: "Face masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces. The use of face masks will become mandatory in some city centres. Please check local guidance for more information. Across France, masks are still compulsory in large gatherings, queues, markets and stadiums.

"Wearing masks on public transport is compulsory for all users aged 11 and over, with fines for those who are not compliant. Masks are also compulsory in taxis and private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen."

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