As infection rates soar across Europe, France has relaxed its travel ban on arrivals from the UK – just in time for the peak ski season.
France banned all but essential travel from the UK on December 20, when the Omicron variant was spiraling in the UK but had not yet taken hold on the continent.
But with the variant now dominant across Europe, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced in a tweet on 13 January that the “compelling reason for travel” requirement will be removed from 14 January.
Anyone arriving from the UK for essential reasons had previously been required to quarantine for 48 hours. That requirement will also be removed from 14 January.
Instead, the UK will be classed alongside other non-EU countries. Entry regulations stipulate that visitors must be fully vaccinated, and must present a negative Covid-19 test, either PCR or antigen, taken within 24 hours before departure.
Non-vaccinated arrivals are also allowed entry, but must register on France’s digital platform before departure, and must observe a strict quarantine period of 10 days, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s office.
“This quarantine will be controlled by the security forces,” the statement added.
France had cut off travel for Brits at the start of a ski season which had been seen as crucial to the recovery of resort economies.
Throughout the UK’s time as the Omicron hub of Europe, triple-vaccinated visitors from the UK were permitted to visit Austria, while Italy allows double-vaccinated Brits to use the ski lifts.
Germany lifted its travel ban on Brits on January 4. Fully vaccinated visitors do not have to quarantine. Switzerland also allows fully vaccinated arrivals from the UK.
Additional reporting by Dalal Mawad in Paris