Holidays boost as France set to reopen borders to Brits fully vaccinated against Covid

Credit: AP

France is due to reopen its borders to British holidaymakers from Friday morning, after restricting entry to the country last month due to the rise of the Omicron Covid variant.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter France if they have evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken within 24 hours of departure. The requirement to isolate on arrival will be scrapped, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has confirmed.

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Gabriel Attal, France's government spokesperson, said that ministers had decided to ease the stringent rules that prevented tourists, notably skiers, from coming to France, during a defence council meeting.

"I confirm that a further relaxing of border restrictions with the UK will be announced in the coming days," he said.

With France being the UK's most popular winter sports destination, the move will come as a relief to the scores of Britons with February half-term ski holidays booked.

The check-in desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris. Credit: AP

It will also be a welcome relief for Brits wanting to book summer holidays to France who had previously been put off due to the uncertainty.

The French border closed to travellers from the UK on December 18, with tourism and business trips limited and French travellers also dissuaded from visiting Britain.

Travellers were required to have an essential reason for their trip unless they were French nationals, residents or hauliers.

Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu described the announcement as a “great relief” and expressed hope that “we have seen the last border closure of the Covid crisis”.

Abby Penlington, director at industry body Discover Ferries, added: “While the ferry industry has continued to operate essential services across the Channel while the border remained closed, we’re confident that its reopening will provide a much-needed uplift in bookings.”

The UK eased its own travel curbs last week. People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to take a Covid test before they arrive in the UK, and can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival.