The French Government has lifted the ban on UK tourists travelling to France.
From tomorrow morning, double-jabbed travellers will no longer need a compelling reason to travel to the country and will not have to quarantine, French tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced via Twitter. However, tourists will still be required to take a Covid test 24 before departure.
UK transport secretary Grant Shapps also confirmed the news via Twitter.
“I’ve just spoken to my opposite number Jean-Baptiste Djebbari who confirms that, given the UK’s falling infection rate, France will be lifting their ban on British tourists. A negative Covid test will still be required,” he said.
The news received a warm welcome by the travel industry. Julia Simpson, president and chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said: “WTTC welcomes the reopening of French borders to UK travellers. Once a variant is endemic closing borders is pointless and only damages livelihoods especially in travel and tourism one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic.
“France is one of the biggest markets for UK tourists who, according to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, account for 14% of overseas visitors. Total international visitor spend in France was worth more than €60BN pre-pandemic.”
According to data from aviation analytics company Cirium, scheduled flights from the UK to France are 144 per cent higher compared with 2021, but still 66 per cent down on January 2020 levels.
Jet2 has registered a rise in reservations, while tour operator Tui said booking had doubled since this morning, the BBC reported.
To stop the spread of the Omicron variant, France introduced a set of measures that barred access to UK tourists on 18 December.
The move – which included a mandatory quarantine for those travelling from the UK for urgent reasons – was highly criticised by the travel industry, which called it a “hammer blow to the winter travel industry.”