Ski trips disrupted

France bans Britons from non-essential visits


British tourists will be absent from Paris

Britons have been barred from entering France for non-essential reasons from Saturday in the latest cross border crackdown on the spread of Omicron.

A spokesman for the French government said this will apply to all travellers whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.

“People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons,” he said, although French citizens and EU nationals could still return to France from the UK.

All those arriving from Britain will need to have a negative virus test less than 24 hours old, and to test again upon arrival and isolate ‘in a place they choose’ for at least 48 hours pending the result, said the spokesman.

It was not clear how this might impact on sporting fixtures, but holidays were thrown into chaos along with the plans of those with second homes in France.

Mike Tibbert, vice president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, said: “Although the French government has indicated that only those with a “compelling reason” for entry to France will be permitted to travel, this does appear to include visiting family, but not for those travelling for tourism.

skier at Nevis Range

Ski trips will be badly impacted

“Many Scots have homes in France, and it appears they will need evidence of residency to travel to these for Christmas. 

“At this time of year, those mostly affected by the announcements will be those visiting France to spend Christmas with friends and those who have skiing breaks booked. Each year 1.5 million UK residents go on at least one international ski holiday with 5% of them going over Christmas. That equates to around 75,000 skiers.”

He added: “It’s another hammer blow for the travel sector, as this is the third season in a row to be disrupted; with one and a half seasons not taking place at all.

“There’s no end date to this restriction from the French government, so the wider main ski season period may be affected.

“It’s estimated that 40% of UK skiers who take an overseas holiday – 600,000 of them – do so in season but outside the school holidays. These figures relate to all overseas ski breaks from the UK. However, France has always been one of the popular destinations due to its proximity to the UK.”

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