France: Omicron travel restrictions discussed by McCann
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The latest travel restrictions have just come in. France has banned all non-essential travel from the UK, starting on December 18.
Holidays are again being cancelled for Britons who were looking forward to an overseas trip this winter.
ABTA Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, said the new ban was “a hammer blow to the winter travel industry, which is already under extreme pressure following the new Omicron restrictions”.
However, it seemed not all travel had been halted yet.
The Dover to Calais ferry is still running.
A DFDS Ferries spokesperson said: “We are continuing to run our ferry services as usual, with up to 55 sailings per day running between Dover, Calais, and Dunkirk.
“We expect our services to be busy on Friday as people prepare to get away for Christmas to see family and friends before the restrictions come into effect.
“We have plenty of capacity for those who wish to travel with us.
“DFDS’ Travel Guarantee remains in place for passengers who already have a booking and wish to cancel or postpone.
“This means that you can rebook for free until September 30 2023 if you are now unable to travel.
“We hope that these short-term measures in response to the spread of the Omicron variant will be lifted in the New Year.”
Britons travelling to France for an “essential reason” will now have to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken 24 hours before travel.
They will also need to self-isolate for seven days.
One French magazine reported flights were not cancelled.
One of the magazine’s readers was “appalled and upset”, as her Ryanair flight would not be refunded, since the flight was not cancelled.
Another reader commented: “Christmas is cancelled.”
A Brittany Ferries spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the imposition of additional controls for travellers from the UK.
“In the context of an Omicron variant that is passing through the French population as it is in the UK, further border controls seem as unnecessary as they are unwelcome.”
ABTA, meanwhile, said: “The winter sports and school travel markets are particularly exposed, and the Government must now bring forward a support package if we are not to see company failures and job losses.
“Travel businesses have reported turnover at just 22 percent of pre-pandemic levels following two years of Government-imposed restrictions and consumer confidence in overseas travel has been hit hard.”
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