British tourists to be banned from France amid rise in Omicron cases

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British tourists are to be banned from France amid concern over the “extremely rapid” rise in Omicron COVID cases in the UK.

From Saturday morning, France is banning travel to and from the UK without “compelling reasons”.

Those reasons do not include travel for tourism and business, Paris said.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said hauliers will not be affected.

“To confirm, I have liaised with my French counterpart, and hauliers will remain exempt,” he tweeted.

French nationals and their spouses are also unaffected by the new rules.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM television the measures will include reducing the validity of PCR tests to 24 hours from 48 hours for travellers arriving from Britain.

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France said in a statement: “In the UK government’s own words, the UK is facing a “tidal wave” of the Omicron variant in the coming days.”

It added: “In response to the extremely rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, the government is reinstating compelling reasons for travel to and from the UK, and strengthening the requirement for testing on departure and arrival.”

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