FRANCE is expected to be one of the countries to have an ‘air bridge’ with the UK next week. When can we fly to France?
France is home to some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, being a cultural capital of Europe and boasting some of the most gorgeous countrysides, vineyards and skiing resorts the continent has to offer. As a part of the ‘air bridges’ policy being rolled out across Europe, France is expected to be one of several countries allowed to let travellers go back and forth without the need for quarantine on either end.
Airlines have tentatively begun resuming flights across the continent to try to inject some life into the almost flatlining air industry.
International travel had almost become a relic from a bygone era throughout the coronavirus lockdown, as many airlines were forced to ground entire fleets as countries battled to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Originally France was due to be part of a reciprocal agreement with the UK, however, this never came to fruition.
The agreement, set out in May, between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Emmanuel Macron declared: “No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner.”
It is unclear why the agreement was never seen out; days later the UK imposed a two-week quarantine upon entry from every country in the world excluding the Republic of Ireland.
The Government is set to relax the restrictions on international travel, particularly our neighbours in Europe, as soon as July 6.
Currently, travel is not banned and you cannot be prosecuted – but with a Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advisory out against all international travel – it is near enough impossible to get travel insurance.
Current guidelines state that any travel must be absolutely essential, such as seeing a sick relative or for key worker reasons.
The FCO’s exceptional travel advisory notice reads: “As countries respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.
“Many airlines have suspended flights and many airports are closed, preventing flights from leaving.”
This is all set to change come July 6, and the Government is expected to make announcements about the new air bridges next week.
The initial list of safe countries has been drawn up by the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, working with Public Health England, with nations ranked as green, amber and red based on the risk from Covid-19, the trajectory of the virus’s spread, and an assessment of the reliability of data.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has agreed that the blanket advice on non-essential international travel, imposed on 17 March, will be lifted for relevant countries from 6 July but it will be kept under review.
Is France open to UK travellers?
France began loosening its travel restrictions in June, and is now accepting travellers from across Europe without restrictions.
As of June 15, travellers from most EU countries, EFTA nations (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra, are now free to travel to France by land, air or sea without the obligation of quarantine or other restrictions, the country’s interior ministry said in a statement.
Currently, UK travellers have to quarantine for two weeks upon entry to France.
In a second step, the interior ministry said it would begin relaxing restrictions on travel from countries outside of the EU on July 1.
University students have been given priority for entry, regardless of their country of origin.
Which airlines are flying to France?
No airline is currently flying at full capacity due to the lack of demand.
Currently, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, and Iberia are all flying to Paris.
Easyjet is currently only flying to Nice in the south of France.
Other airlines are set to begin flying again in the coming weeks, with Ryanair, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways and others looking to resume operations from July.
Eurostar trains are also currently running, but passengers must have documentation that proves they are travelling for an essential reason.