Travelling from the UK to Chamonix in times of Covid-19

 

From 10 July 2020, the tit-for-tat quarantine restrictions between England and France are lifted.

England has designated 59 Air Bridge countries with no requirement to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

France, Italy and Switzerland are all Air Bridge countries, so no matter how you travel to Chamonix and return home, from 10 July, there is no obligation to quarantine or self-isolate.

It's travel as usual and Chamonix is open for business!

image: 
From 10 July, it will be possible to travel between England and Chamonix without self-isolating. Photo author  moi-même, licensed under CC BY SA 3.0, photo source @commons.wikimedia.org
View of the Chamonix valley. Photo author phileole, licensed under CC BY SA 2.0, photo source @commons.wikimedia.org

On Arrival in England

Excellent news for Brits who want to spend their summer holidays in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc!

Since the beginning of the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown in March, the British government advised against all but essential travel, and people returning to the UK were obliged to self-isolate for 14 days.

The situation is about to change, as the British government published a travel corridors exemption list. From 10 July 2020, British tourists can book their vacation in 59 countries, including France, without having to quarantine for 14-days when returning home.

Travellers are exempt from quarantine if they arrive in England from:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, South Korea, Spain, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City, Vietnam, plus the 14 British Overseas Territories.

The new regulations apply to all travel means to England: train, ferry, coach, air, etc.

However, if you have also visited or stopped in a country that is not on the exemption list, you will still have to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since you left that country.

More countries will be added to the list "over the coming days", says the Department for Transport. Among the countries which are not on the list, it is worth mentioning Canada, the US, much of Central or South America, countries in Africa, the Middle East, most of Asia, as well as Sweden, Portugal and Russia.

The quarantine exemptions will take effect from 10 July 2020.

On Arrival in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

It is important to keep in mind that health measures, such as quarantine, are set separately by each UK nation, so other UK countries are not obliged to adopt the new England regulations.

Both Scottish and Welsh governments have not decided yet if they would follow England's new measures. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, did not criticize Boris Johnson's decisions and said she wanted Scots to be able to travel abroad without quarantine. However, the Scottish government has not made a decision yet. "We mustn't forget that this decision-making process is seeking to be careful and considered one to try to make sure we continue to contain a virus that has since March taken the lives of more than 4,000 people in Scotland", declared Nicola Sturgeon.

Northern Ireland will still require people travelling from outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland to self-isolate themselves for 14 days.

On Arrival at the Geneva Airport

The Geneva Airport (GVA) is the closest airport to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. There are only 88 km (54.6 mi) from the Geneva Airport to Chamonix. Consequently, most people travel to Chamonix via the Geneva Aiport.

Switzerland has known an increased number in new cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 since mid-June. On 1 July 2020, the Swiss government issued a list of countries that are considered high-risk. Anyone arriving in Switzerland from any of these countries will be obliged to quarantine for 10 days, starting 10 July. Most countries on the high-risk list are from South America, Asia and Southeast Europe. The United States of America is also on the list.

The UK and France are not on the list, thus anyone travelling from the UK to France via Geneva Airport & back will not have to quarantine.

On Arrival in France

When arriving in France from Switzerland, as well as other countries from the European Space (European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and the Vatican) you will not meet any restrictions.

Nevertheless, to reciprocate UK's mandatory 14-days self-isolation, the French Government has put in place a voluntary 14-days quarantine for travellers arriving from the UK.

However, with England set to lift the mandatory quarantine for travellers from France from 10 July, France is expected to follow suit immediately and renounce the voluntary quarantine for people arriving from England. Keep in mind that until Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland lift their quarantine rules, travellers taking off from airports such as Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast remain subject to the French voluntary quarantine.

Sources@ BBC, The Sun, www.gov.uk, Federal Office of Public Health Switzerland, www.uk.ambafrance.org, www.newyork.consulfrance.org, www.connexionfrance.com, www.health-ni.gov.uk

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