France to reopen border to UK tourists ahead of half-term holidays

By Liv Clarke

France is expected to relax its travel restrictions towards British travellers within days.

It would be welcome news to UK holidaymakers who may be planning trips to the destination in February half-term.

The country introduced a ban on non-essential travel to and from the UK on December 18 in an effort to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant.

Last week the rules were partly eased to allow some business travel to take place.

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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”.

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

Skiing in the Alps (Getty Images)

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.

People currently allowed to enter France from the UK are required to show evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within 24 hours before departure.

They must also self-isolate for 48 hours after they arrive and then take another test.

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 after they arrive.

The changes save a family of four around £300.

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