Covid: France reopens borders for UK tourists to take holidays without need for Covid vaccination

France has eased its border restrictions, allowing British tourists to take holidays there from Friday - without any need to prove they've had a coronavirus vaccine.

The UK is one of just seven countries outside the EU that people can travel from and to without needing a "compelling reason" for their journey.

The others are Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand.

But anyone wanting to enter France must have evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours, said tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

About 17 million British nationals normally visit France every year.

However, for English tourists it will not be any easier to go on holiday there, or anywhere, until May 17 at the earliest, when Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap for England says is the soonest international travel could be permitted.

Cyprus is aiming to welcome the return of foreign tourists from May 1, while Greece is aiming to reopen its borders from May 14.

Ministers and experts part of the UK's Global Travel Taskforce have been given the job of developing a plan to allow safe international travel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who chairs the taskforce, said their job is to explore "safe and secure ways to restart international travel when the time is right".

He said: “By planning carefully considered steps, we will protect the excellent progress made through our vaccine and advanced testing programme, whilst ensuring we are ready to kick-start our travel sector when current travel restrictions can be lifted.

“We will not only consider the progress of our world-beating domestic vaccine programme, but also need to review where destination countries have got to with both vaccine and testing capabilities.”The taskforce will be "closely integrated" with the review being carried out by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on how vaccine certificates - also known as passports - can be used to allow international travel.

Some countries have indicated tourists would need to prove they've had a coronavirus vaccine before being allowed to enter.

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