Simon Calder criticises continued French travel ban
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The travel expert slammed the ongoing ban as he said 2022 could offer a return to normal for holidaymakers in the UK. Under current Covid rules, Britons who do not reside in France cannot travel or transit to the country, and need to find alternative routes to other EU member states. But Mr Calder blasted the regulation as he pointed out France has a higher rate of new Omicron infections compared to the UK.
Speaking to GB News about travel prospects for the new year, Mr Calder said: “Today, I really sense…a lot of people I’ve been speaking to over the weekend are thinking, ‘right, let’s start getting back to something like normal.’
“And that’s really exciting. There are still some people saying, ‘2022, I’m not going anywhere.’
“But I think people are looking forward to it. However, there are going to be some serious bumps in the road.”
He continued: “We are still banned from going to France.
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“It is inexplicable why we should be because the French have got even more Omicron cases than we have starting every day.
“But that’s what they’re doing.”
Current travel advice from the Foreign Office on France states that “the French government have indicated that UK nationals travelling from the UK who are not resident in France will not be permitted to transit France to return to their country of residence unless they are travelling by air.”
France began to tighten rules for travel into France from mid-December and British travellers have been required to demonstrate an essential reason to travel before being allowed into the country.
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Last Wednesday, Eurotunnel announced on social media British people “can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU.”
However, the firm U-turned on the move after the British Government sought clarifications as “significant” numbers of Britons living abroad faced the risk of being stranded in the UK.
The French Interior Ministry said “instructions of tolerance” were issued to police on how to handle Brits returning home after visiting the UK.
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In a statement, they said: “A large number of British nationals residing in a country of the European Union have travelled in good faith to the United Kingdom for the holiday season and are finding it difficult to reach their country of residence.
“Faced with this situation, instructions of tolerance were sent to police personnel at the borders with the United Kingdom in order to allow these nationals to transit through France.”
The ban remains in place despite other EU countries softening their rules on travel from the UK.
Germany reopened its borders from January 3 to fully vaccinated Brits or those with “an important reason for traveling”.
No negative test will be required and travellers will not need to quarantine for 14 days if they are double or triple jabbed.
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