COVID: France makes travel easier for vaccinated British tourists

PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) - France announced it was slightly easing COVID-19 protocols for vaccinated travellers from Britain, dropping a requirement for proof of an essential reason for the trip and for obligatory self-isolation upon arrival.

The demand for a negative COVID-19 test, conducted 24 hours before a trip, remains in place, the French government added on Thursday. The measures will take effect as from Friday morning.

France had tightened entry conditions for people coming from Britain in December, when the coronavirus Omicron variant was raging in the UK but had not yet hit France. read more

The number of daily new infections has since reached record levels in both countries but seems to be past its peak in Britain, while that is not yet the case in France.

The easing of the restrictions also comes as governments around the world try to balance keeping the COVID virus in check while ensuring that important parts of their economies, such as tourism and leisure, are not too badly hurt.

"Given the prevalence of the Omicron variant both in France and in Britain, the government had decided to relax specific health control measures at borders that had been put in place in last December for vaccinated travellers coming from Britain," the French Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

"Those measures had been decided when the epidemic was spreading spectacularly in Britain while France was still relatively preserved in the face of the Omicron wave."

Non-vaccinated people coming from Britain will have to show proof of an essential reason for the trip and observe a strict 10-day quarantine at the place they stay at in France, which they also have to detail on a dedicated platform.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean

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