France to announce relaxation of UK travel rules ‘in the coming days’

Paris will announce an easing of restrictions for travel from Britain to France in the coming days, the government said on Wednesday.

Brittany ferries Calais to Dover crossing
Travel between France and the UK is at present severely limited. Photo: Sameer Al Doumy/AFP

“I confirm that a further easing of the restrictions with the UK will be announced in the coming days,” Gabriel Attal told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

“Work is continuing, I hope that the announcement can be made by the end of the week,” he added.

His words come after Alexandre Holroyd, the MP representing French nationals living in the UK, said that after lengthy discussions with the government, a “considerable easing” of the UK travel restrictions would be announced soon.

Since December 18th, travellers arriving in France from across the Channel have been required to prove a compelling reason to enter the country, largely restricting entry to French or EU citizens or residents.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel between France and the UK

That was eased slightly last week to allow people in “for the pursuit of an economic activity requiring an on-site presence which cannot be postponed”.

“At the time I said that if we continued to see the same situation, that is the Omicron variant becoming dominant in France, of course we would continue to ease the restrictions,” Attal said.

Under the rules, travellers coming from the UK also have to quarantine at home for seven days although this can be shortened to 48 hours after a negative test.

Those who do qualify to travel also face a raft of paperwork.

We will update our Travel section HERE as soon as any announcements are made.

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro