France travel – UK holidaymakers must now prove negative Covid test within 24 hours if unvaccinated

UNVACCINATED UK holidaymakers will now need to provide a negative Covid test result within 24 hours of travelling to France, the country's authorities have said.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex abruptly announced the changes on Saturday and said it will also apply to Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

This overturns a previous rule on UK visitors that required a negative test within 48 hours of departure.

The new guidance only applies to those who haven't been double-jabbed with a European Medicines Agency-approved vaccine – that is, Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

The UK Government was set to ditch the 10-day home quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Brits returning from Amber List countries from Monday.

However, in an unexpected turn of events, the Department for Transport announced on Friday night this would not apply to France.

Hundreds of fed-up sunrevellers have skulked back to the UK from France on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands more have had to cancel their trip at the last minute, causing travel carnage at the borders.

Many Brits already in France had decided to extend their stay after it was announced that from July 19 double-jabbed people don't have to isolate on return from amber list countries.

While still on the amber list, double-jabbed holidaymakers coming from France will still have to isolate for 10 days on return to the UK.

Ministers said they were forced to act quickly late on Friday after concern over the spread of the Beta coronavirus variant in France.

Hundreds of thousands set to go abroad will either have to abandon plans or stay at home for ten days when they return, and has left hopes of rebuilding the battered tourism industry in turmoil.

It has also caused chaos for travellers already in France.

Although France has a lower case count than the UK, there has been an increase from 1,874 on June 26 to 5,811 on Friday.

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French President Emmanuel Macron also announced that vaccine passports would be needed to enter most public places and that all healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated or face punishment.

Discussing the UK's volte-face, Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “Ministers are making up rules on the hoof and causing chaos.

“They have never had a proper strategy in place — once again the travel industry and the British people are paying the price.”


One Brit on holiday in Veynes, France, told the Sun Online that they were trying to get back to the UK because they are "scared" of more changes, such as the country being moved to the red list, and hotel quarantine imposed.

Tracey Taylor said: "Trying to come back now because scared to death of more changes.

"The message about the efficacy of our vaccines is now very mixed.

"Still, after our pointless quarantine, we can go clubbing and attend sports events without capacity crowds and be mask- free."

Richard Clark, who is a senior lecturer at the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences, said that he'll now lose his £2,400 holiday to the South of France because companies won't refund if France isn't formally placed on the red list.

He told the Sun Online: "I'm very annoyed. I have a £2400 holiday to the South of France with my wife and 2 children.

"I booked it the day the quarantine rules changed. Now, I lose every penny because Euro camp will only refund or move my holiday if the foreign office state 'no travel' or France is moved to the red list.

"This move, treating France like a red list country but keeping amber, is only designed to benefit holiday businesses and scam the public out of their money. Either France is red or amber.

"It can't be amber but masquerading as red."

Discussing the recent changes, Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told i: "It is now known as an amber plus list, whether they like it or not.

"France is one of the big three countries we visit each year and I think the concern is the Government will be looking at Spain and Greece and potentially add those to the amber plus category.

 "I think we may see further changes as countries see higher infection rates."

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