France was amongst the world’s worst-affected countries when coronavirus filtered into Europe this year, taking tens of thousands of lives from 157,000 infected people. Alongside the UK, the country has seen some of the worst numbers in the world, but French officials have begun scaling back some measures, with people now questioning when international travel may resume.
Can we go to France now?
Much like the rest of the world, France shuttered its borders in the face of COVID-19, with international travel suspended.
However, with the virus now tentatively receding, the country has reopened some of its shops and eateries to the general public.
Travel rules soon followed, with the country joining others within the EU to reopen some of its borders.
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From today, EU member states have relaxed some of their travel restrictions, which includes France, Belgium and Greece.
The UK is amongst them, and from June 15, people will be able to enter the country without needing to demonstrate their travel is essential.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran has urged caution, however, telling news channel LCI COVID-19 is not “completely” defeated.
He said “the largest part of the epidemic is behind us but the virus is not dead.”
“We did not completely defeat it and we are controlling its circulation. We continue testing.”
UK officials continue to advise against foreign travel, however, with an exceptional travel advisory still in place on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
The notice reads: “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
“This advice is being kept under constant review.”
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So, while people can travel to France, the Government is advising against it, and anyone returning from the country will have to undergo quarantine.
Rules the Government put into place on June 8 require anyone landing in the UK to place themselves in self-isolation for two weeks.
They will have to confine themselves to their hotel room or home while supplying contacts to British authorities.
Anyone found infringing the new policy could court fines of up to £1,000.
Both officials and business leaders have railed against the decision, however, leading people to suspect an incoming Government U-turn.
Speaking on the BBC this weekend, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government was “looking at” ways to open up travel to and from the UK.
He said: “We are looking at all options to ensure that that is possible and people have got suggestions about how we might be able to open up some travel corridors over time and so the transport secretary is actively looking at all of those options.”
Air corridors are a policy championed by several officials which would see quarantine-less travel open up between select countries to facilitate tourism without spiking the coronavirus infection rate.
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