Travel news latest: Flights to France sell out ahead of midnight travel ban deadline

Advice

Flight, ferry and Eurostar tickets to France sold out in hours after the French Government announced a ban on UK arrivals, effective midnight (11pm UK time) tonight. 

As of tomorrow, only French residents or those with a “compelling reason” will be entitled to enter France from Britain.

Following the announcement, thousands of people booked tickets to France to beat the deadline. 

The news comes just as the ski season begins, with thousands of Britons set to return to the Alps for the first time in nearly two years.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said Iain Martin, host of the Ski Podcast who is currently out in the French 3 Vallées ski area. Those already in France do not need to travel home before the deadline.

The France travel ban comes as the UK reported its highest daily Covid-19 rise of 88,376 cases in 24 hours.

Scroll down for more updates.

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Greece further amends travel requirements

Travellers arriving into Greece can show proof of a negative rapid antigen test or PCR test 72 hours before travel, in an amendment to a new rule announced this week.

Health authorities on Wednesday originally suggested that incoming passengers must show evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken no more than 48 hours before travel.

But the rules have been broadened, slightly, to allow for rapid antigen tests. The time frame has also been extended to 72 hours before travel, rather than 48.

“The Omicron variant prompted our country to take one-off measures for foreign visitors,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said.

‘UK Government support is needed now more than ever’

AITO Chairman Chris Rowles responded to yesterday’s travel ban:

[This] very last-minute cancellation of the festive season for British holidaymakers wishing to visit our near neighbour, France, is an extremely unwelcome pre-Christmas ‘gift’.

It is a simply devastating situation for the UK’s travel industry, destroying as it does both long-planned Christmas holidays and the many ski businesses which operate in French ski resorts. 

AITO therefore calls upon the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer urgently to work out a rescue package for this badly-beaten-up industry.  We seem to be the sector that no-one cares about; please put that right at long last and keep travel companies afloat until we turn the Covid corner and can again trade consistently and earn our own living.

‘Don’t come to St Pancras unless you have a ticket’

Cross-Channel rail operator Eurostar is urging people to avoid London St Pancras station today, unless they have a pre-booked ticket to France.

Nearly all of the firm’s train services are sold out today, as people bring Christmas plans forward to beat the travel ban that comes into effect at midnight tonight.

Yesterday’s headlines

A recap of what happened yesterday:

  • Flight, ferries and Eurostar to France selling fast ahead of the Saturday deadline
  • Greece will demand PCR test from all arrivals
  • Limit flying to vaccinated passengers, says Ryanair boss
  • New drive-through quick-turnaround self-test centre opens at Heathrow
  • A new low-cost airline takes to the sky – with transatlantic fares from £139

Now, on with today’s news.

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