Simon Calder criticises continued French travel ban
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The French ban on Britons could soon be over, with the French Government’s spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, saying the list of acceptable reasons for travel between France and the UK will be expanded. The announcement was made today after a ministers’ meeting and was reported by French newspaper Le Figaro.
Britons could soon be able to travel to France again.
The French ban on British residents was widely publicised when it was announced on December 18.
Now, the French Government is saying the rules will be relaxed a bit.
Britons are currently banned from France, except in exceptional circumstances.
Tourism and professional needs were not considered legitimate reasons to travel between France and the UK, up to, it seems, now.
French Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced today new exceptional circumstances will be added to the list.
This will mean travel between France and the UK may be less restricted.
So far, the new rules have not been announced, only that they may be coming in the next days.
This is good news for holidaymakers, especially with travel rules having been relaxed by the UK Government.
Grant Shapps announced today the pre-departure test will be scrapped.
But it was not the only good news for travellers, as the Day 2 PCR test was also scrapped and replaced by a lateral flow test.
The rules will come into effect from Friday at 4 am for the pre-departure test and on Sunday for the scrapping of the PCR test.
The move was widely seen as positive by the travel industry, with the hope that travel will be less at risk this year.
However, the Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO) said: “We do not support the decision by the Government to scrap PCR testing for pre-departure tests and Day 2 tests.”
The news was not well received by holidaymakers either, with Lesley Ince saying: “Now sort out France we are being discriminated against. We must be allowed to travel through France to Spain.”
And Patrick Wheeler wrote: “Having paid £500 to return my family from Norway, where a daughter lives, only nine days ago I find it galling that this was not done earlier.”
With Omicron still causing havoc all over the world, it may seem an odd time for the Government to relax their travel rules.
However, the Covid variant is now widely spread all over Europe and travel restrictions put in place to stop its spread are no longer relevant.
Grant Shapps said: “We’re removing the temporary extra testing measures we introduced last year at the border to slow cases of Omicron coming to the UK.
“Now Omicron is the dominant variant and is widespread in the UK, these measures are no longer proportionate.”
The French update is still developing and will be updated as soon as more is confirmed.
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