France is to ease its COVID border restrictions for several countries including the UK – but travellers will still need to have a negative test before arriving.
The foreign ministry said those flying to or from Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and Singapore will no longer need to have a compelling reason to travel.
All other restrictions, including the requirement for a negative test less than 72 hours before travel, would remain in
place, the ministry said, adding a decree was due to be published on Friday.
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French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said the easing was due to the improving health situation in those countries.
“The list includes Britain, because the UK variant now also circulates widely in France,” he said on Twitter.
France tightened border restrictions on all but essential travel by people from outside the EU at the end of January. It did not include hauliers and groups such as healthworkers, students and diplomats.
Currently, no one in the UK can travel overseas for non-essential reasons. Those who do must to carry a form setting out why their trip is allowed under lockdown rules – or face a £200 fine.
On coming back to the UK, they must quarantine at home (with two tests, on days two and eight, costing £210) or stay at a government-approved hotel (costing £1,750) if returning from a red-list country.
But people living in England could be permitted to take foreign holidays from 17 May at the earliest, under Boris Johnson’s road map for easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Ministers are considering vaccine passports for UK citizens, and further details on how travel could work are expected from the government’s Global Travel Taskforce on 12 April.
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