France travel update: Macron introduces tough new rules for UK tourists in holiday blow

Dover: Lorries fill roads as France travel ban continues

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As of Monday, only EU nationals, French citizens or those travelling for essential reasons will be allowed to travel to France. Those allowed to travel will have to take a PCR or antigen test less than 48 hours prior to departure. On arrival in France, they will be required to self-isolate for seven days.

The rules will apply to all air, train, ferry and car passengers without exception.

The Consulate General of France posted a statement on its website explaining the new measures.

It said: “Given the development of the so-called Indian variant, health measures have been tightened for people travelling to France from the UK.”

The statement said there would be no exemption to the rules even for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Consulate “strongly advised” people to keep international travel “to a minimum”.

France remains a hugely popular destination for British holiday makers, and the new rules are bound to have a major impact on France’s tourism sector.

According to official data, around 13 million UK tourists visited France every year before the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

Last week, Matt Hancock told journalists at a Downing Street press conference that up to three quarters of new UK Covid cases could be due to the Indian variant.

The Health Secretary said: “The latest estimates are that more than half and potentially as many as three-quarters of all new cases are now of this variant.

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“As we set out our roadmap we always expected cases to rise – we must remain vigilant.”

The worst affected areas continue to be Bolton, Bedford, and Blackburn with Darwen, according to PHE figures.

Yesterday saw another 3,240 cases and 6 deaths in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

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