Ski holidays in France ‘back on’ with Covid travel rules for Britons due to be relaxed this week

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The French border closed to holidaymakers from the UK on December 18 as ministers in Paris sought to prevent the spread of the omicron variant, but since the decision the number of Covid cases in France has rocketed.

Mr Attal agreed that the situation in both countries was similar and that omicron “clearly accounts for the majority of cases in France”.

The country’s health minister Olivier Véran on Wednesday also said that France’s omicron surge was just “a few days behind the UK” and was expected to follow a similar curve.

Restrictions on the UK eased slightly last week when Paris agreed that those with compelling business trips could enter the country. Currently, anyone arriving from the UK must show a negative Covid test at the border before quarantining for 48 hours and taking a further test. The need to self-isolate is likely to be shelved.

The UK Government has castigated the French border measures as pointless given the data and top ski representatives accused President Emmanuel Macron of “political” point scoring by keeping the border closed.

Despite the dearth in British customers over the festive season, French ski resorts have had a good start to the year but Britons will be warmly received as as they have a reputation for splashing out in mountain bars and restaurants and avidly buying many ski passes.

Airlines and ferry companies, along with Eurotunnel and Eurostar are due to ramp up services to help meet demand.

One ski tour operator, Skiline.co.uk, has put trips to the country departing this Saturday back on sale.

In a statement it said: “We are expecting the French government to make an announcement this Wednesday to confirm that British vaccinated skiers can enter France from Saturday.”

It has pledged to immediately refund anyone that books if the ban on holidays is not lifted in time.

Britons should be aware that from Saturday, boosters will be mandatory in France for anyone aged 18 to 64 who has been fully vaccinated for more than seven months. These are required to qualify for a health pass, which must be shown to enter bars, cafes, restaurants and ski lifts, as well as cultural venues.

The UK last week eased travel rules, including scrapping the need for passengers to take a pre-arrival test.

Since Sunday, a PCR test on or before day two is no longer required and has been replaced with a cheaper lateral flow test.

There is now no need to quarantine before receiving a negative result.

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