France eases Covid travel restrictions for UK and 6 other non-EU countries - what it means

Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:13 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:13 am
France is set to ease travel both to and from the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)
France is set to ease travel both to and from the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

France is set to ease travel both to and from the UK, alongside six other countries also outside of the EU.

All non-essential travel was banned by the French government on 31 January in a bid to stop the spread of Covid variants, excluding hauliers and groups such as diplomats, health workers and students.

Frances relaxes travel ban

France’s foreign ministry has now said the country no longer needed a "compelling reason" for travel to and from the UK, Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand.

French Tourism Minister, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said the decision was taken to ease restrictions due to the improving health situation in the seven countries and that the UK will be included because the nation’s variant “now also circulates widely in France".

However, safety measures will remain in place for travellers, including all passengers arriving in France being required to provide a negative Covid-19 test result which has been issued less than 72 hours before they travel.

Currently, travel abroad from the UK is still prohibited for the foreseeable future, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.

A date hasn’t yet been announced as to when holidays overseas will be able to go ahead, but the Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.

Earlier this week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it’s currently still too early to book summer holidays.

Mr Shapps was asked by Mishal Hussain on the BBC Today show: “Still too early to book foreign holidays?,” to which he replied: “Yes, in as much as we know that the Global Travel Taskforce that I’m running reports on 12 April.

Mr Shapps also said he is “hopeful” that people will be able to travel abroad this summer, he warned that there were no “cast iron guarantees”.

The Transport Secretary told Times Radio: “I am hopeful but, as with everything to do with this virus, you can’t say for certain.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to work around but I am working with international partners, both governments and organisations, to try to make it happen. We can’t provide cast iron guarantees on it.”