Europe

Covid: France suspends transit ban allowing Brits to ‘return home’ after festive season

France travel ban: BBC reporter discusses Macron’s decision

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Since December 18 non-essential travel from the UK to France has been banned in an attempt to deal with the rising Covid cases caused by the Omicron variant. These rules had meant that UK nationals were prohibited from traveling by car through the country to properties in other EU countries via Eurostar, Eurotunnel or ferry.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle which runs the vehicle carrying train service from Folkestone to Calais via the Channel Tunnel announced the change of rules on Twitter.

They said: “Passengers travelling from the UK, with residency in other EU countries under the Withdrawal Agreement, can again transit through France to return home.

“Subject to their journey to the UK being completed before 28 Dec 2021. This comes into force immediately.”

A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry speaking to the AFP news agency confirmed the move.

He said: “A large number of British nationals residing in an EU country have travelled in good faith to the UK for the festive season and are experiencing difficulties in reaching their country of residence.

“Faced with this situation, instructions of tolerance have been sent to police officers at the borders with the United Kingdom in order to allow these nationals to transit through France to reach their residence in a country of the European Union, after this Christmas and New Year period.”

However, despite allowing Britons to travel through France to reach homes abroad more general travel restrictions remain.

UK nationals are still banned from going to the country unless they have a “compelling reason”. 

France is experiencing a rapid rise in covid 19 cases as the Omicron variant becomes dominant.

Around 206,243 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the latest 24-hour period on Thursday, rising above 200,000 for the second day running.

Meanwhile Germany will lift its ban on British tourists traveling to the country from 11pm on Monday 3 January.

According to the German Embassy people who are fully vaccinated or “have an important reason for travelling” will be able to enter. 

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People who are fully vaccinated will not need a negative Covid test or need to quarantine for 14 days.

Rules introduced on December 19 had banned airlines from taking British tourists into Germany.

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