Travel advice from ABTA Magazine as tourism restarts.
France ranks first globally for international tourist arrivals, and it’s easy to see why. Visitors are seduced by the country’s iconic architecture, thriving cultural scene and romantic cafes and bistros. Here, food is king, from warm breakfast croissants and cheese-filled crusty baguettes to steak frites accompanied by a glass of full-bodied red. Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year.
As lockdown continues to ease, the government has revealed a list of countries from which inbound tourist and returning travellers do not need to self-isolate (also known as the travel corridors list) – ending its blanket 14-day quarantine policy. However, it is not necessarily the case that Britons can enter the countries on the exemptions list without needing to quarantine, or that flights are even currently available (research suggests as little as a third of the countries can be visited without restrictions). Although firm favourites Spain and Italy made it on to lists revealed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Transport (DfT), the USA and Portugal were notable exceptions.
The FCO now advises against all non-essential international travel to France. The country has also been removed from the travel corridors list, meaning when returning to the UK, travellers will need to self-isolate for 14 days. However, the FCO is not advising those already travelling in France to leave at this time. Visitors entering France from the UK are no longer required to self-isolate, but it may be not be possible to get travel insurance if travelling against FCO advice.
In France, the wearing of masks in enclosed public spaces has been compulsory since July 20: this includes shops, covered markets, banks, and other establishments open to the public, while wearing masks on public transport remains compulsory for all users aged 11 and over, with fines for those who do not comply. Masks are also compulsory in taxis and private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen, according to the FCO.