France Lifts Travel Ban on Fully-Vaccinated UK Holidaymakers

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
January 13, 2022 Updated: January 13, 2022

France will lift its travel ban on UK holidaymakers from Friday morning provided they are fully vaccinated, the country’s tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has announced.

France has banned all non-essential travel from the UK since Dec. 18 in a bid to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

But from Friday, travellers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter France if they have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of departure. The requirement to isolate on arrival will be scrapped.

Confirming the news, UK Travel Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter: “I’ve just spoken to my opposite number @Djebbari_JB who confirms that, given the UK’s falling infection rate, France will be lifting their ban on British tourists. A negative COVID test will still be required.”

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.”

Train operator Eurostar, which runs trains between Britain and France through the Channel Tunnel, said it will ramp up its services following the lifting of the ban.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “We welcome the safe reduction of travel restrictions which will allow our customers to travel more freely between the UK and France. We are ready to welcome more passengers on board and will continue to increase the frequency of our services in the coming weeks to offer passengers more flexibility and choice.”

Travel trade organisation Abta also welcomed the decision. A spokesman said: “France is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers. Thousands of people head there for ski breaks at this time of year, so this will be a huge relief for customers with holidays booked there for the next few weeks, who have been waiting anxiously for news.”

Crystal Ski, Britain’s biggest winter sports operator, expressed optimism for the business outlook.

Managing Director Chris Logan said: “It’s been a challenging start to the season with Switzerland and France both imposing short-term bans, and complex and ever-changing testing requirements,” he said. “But with the relaxation of UK testing and the Alps open to the UK again, I’m feeling really optimistic.”

Germany has already lifted its ban on UK tourists entering the country on Jan. 4.

Britain has also relaxed its own travel restrictions on Jan. 7 by scrapping the requirement for pre-departure tests for travellers returning to England.

PA Media contributed to this report.