Chamonix: soon to lift blanket ban on British tourists


By end of the week, British skiers could be able to return to French slopes after an announcement that France is due to lift its blanket ban on non-essential travel from the United Kingdom.

Chamonix lifts blanket ban on UK travellers
Grands Montets Ski Area

Green light in the ‘next few days’ for British tourists

Wednesday 12 January 2022, after a weekly cabinet meeting, Gabriel Attal, the French government’s official spokesman, said that Paris would ease travel restrictions from the UK to France in the next few days.

Gabriel Attal told reporters “I confirm that a further easing of the restrictions with the UK will be announced in the coming days,” also he said “Work is continuing. I hope that the announcement can be made by the end of the week.”

France banned non essential travel from the UK on 18 December amid fears over the Omicron variant, banning effectively all non-essential journeys by requiring vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers to show a “compelling reason” for travel. The rule, which effectively limited entry from the UK to France and EU nationals and British citizens resident in France, was later eased to allow people in “for the pursuit of an economic activity requiring an on-site presence that cannot be postponed.”

The rules also require all arrivals from the UK to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the previous 24 hours, rather than 48 hours, and to quarantine in France for seven days – reduced to 48 hours if they can produce a new negative test.

On 30 December 2021, the French government suspended one of the new rules to allow British nationals who were legally resident in other EU countries to transit through France to reach their homes by road and rail. Border officials would “show tolerance” in order to allow people to return home after the Christmas and New Year period, the interior ministry said, without specifying when the rule would be reimposed.

Evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic in France

New daily coronavirus infections in France have since set successive records, with the country on Tuesday 11 January reporting a new high of nearly 370,000 infections and a seven-day average high of more than 283,000, with Omicron accounting for 87% of all cases nationwide.

The tight travel restrictions were also imposed during what analysts see as a breakdown of trust between the British and French governments in the wake of Brexit over a host of issues from migrants to fishing.

They were a blow to the French tourism industry over the Christmas period, in particular to Alpine ski resorts, which are very popular with UK tourists.

The managing director of Seasonal Businesses in Travel, Charles Owen, said the news could lead to a surge in bookings. He said “This is very welcome news, not only for the thousands of UK holidaymakers and people visiting friends and family in France, but also for the thousands of UK ski-tour operators that have been in an effective shutdown for 22 months,” . “Snow conditions in the Alps are near perfect and we expect demand for holidays to be very high over the next few weeks,” he added.

Source: @The Guardian 

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