Twenty-four days after France brutally closed its borders to British visitors, the UK travel ban is expected to end soon. A ski operator is so confident that he is selling winter sports trips for the coming weekend.
Since December 20, British travelers have been banned from entering France except for “compelling reasons” – excluding holidays and most business trips and family visits.
Anyone authorized to enter France must self-quarantine for 48 hours.
The measures were introduced at a time when transmission rates of Covid-19 in the UK were skyrocketing due to the Omicron variant. Since then, new infections in France have also exploded.
We hoped that this decision would prove a circuit breaker (a circuit breaker) in place only for Christmas and New Years. Rules were relaxed slightly last week, allowing essential business travel and transit en route to homes elsewhere in the EU.
But the holiday ban is causing immense damage to the travel industry in France – where UK skiers are normally the main source of business abroad – and the UK.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, Managing Director of Advantage Travel Partnership, said The independent: “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Emanuel Macron for putting the travel agencies that sell the UK’s biggest ski destination on the brink of a precipice.
“For the third season, the entire outgoing ski market is devastated. “
But changes are said to be imminent, with fully vaccinated travelers being re-admitted to France.
The French politician Alexandre Holroyd tweeted, somewhat enigmatic, on the evening of January 11: “Following numerous discussions with the government, considerable reductions in health measures at the borders will be announced very soon. More details here in the coming days.
South East London company Skiline.co.uk sent out a marketing email saying: “We are expecting the French government to make an announcement on Wednesday to confirm that vaccinated UK skiers can enter France from this Saturday January 15th. “
It sells a week-long vacation to Tignes in the French Alps from London Heathrow on Saturday for £ 799, with flights, transfers and accommodation fully catered for.
“If the announcement is made as we hope, you will be one of the few lucky skiers in France this weekend,” says the company.
Skiline promises, “If no announcement is made this Wednesday, we will refund your credit card by this Friday. “
Another company, SkiWeekends, tells potential customers: “Based on reliable government sources, we are optimistic about opening the borders and removing the 48 hour quarantine on arrival. “
The independent understands that the major ferry companies have already drafted statements to be released as soon as the travel ban is lifted.
Visitors will have to follow strict new rules requiring proof of a recall to access most sites, which currently only apply to people aged 65 and over.
As of January 15, the requirement will be extended to anyone aged 18 or over.