COVID: British tourists banned in France from this weekend

In the wake of the outrageous spread of Omicron, France has announced to ban all non-essential travel to and from Britain from this weekend.

As the UK records the highest daily number of cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, France has decided to reintroduce travel restrictions for Britain. Starting from Saturday midnight (11 pm Friday UK time), people will be required to have a necessary reason to travelto or to come from the UK. The rule applies to both unvaccinated and vaccinated travellers.

While French citizens and EU national are unaffected from this restriction, the French government announced,

People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons. Faced with the extremely rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, the government has chosen to reinstate the need for an essential reason for travel from and to the UK.

Stricter restrictions ahead

The French government has introduced more stringent measures that appear to be a hammer blow to Christmas. On the off chance that one has to travel to France, they need to follow more rules. Gabriel Attal, a French government representative, confirmed,

We will put in place a system of controls drastically tighter than the one we have already.

Returning travellers will also need a negative test that is less than 24 hours old, and a blanket quarantine will be imposed upon their arrival in France. He added,

People (coming back) will have to register on an app and will have to self-isolate in a place of their choosing for seven days - controlled by the security forces - but this can be shortened to 48 hours if a negative test is carried out in France.

Further, people who can go from the United Kingdom for a compelling reason will be required to register their residence in France. Although these new restrictions may seem unwelcomed, they still are the need of the hour to stop the spread of Omicron in France.

Saddening regress

The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the hauliers will not be affected and tweeted,

To confirm, I have liaised with my French counterpart, and hauliers will remain exempt.

It still appears to be a regressive measure since the rules apply to all, regardless of the vaccination status. The Chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency added,

Blanket country measures are a damaging backwards step and never work.
Omicron is already in France and other EU countries. Why should the millions boosted be treated the same way as those unvaccinated and prevented from entry?
Covid-19: France to ease travel restrictions for the UK Covid-19: France to ease travel restrictions for the UK