France Restricts UK Travellers From Monday

Anyone heading to the Alps or the Pyrenees mountain ranges will need to quarantine for 7-days and prove their visit is essential.  The new measure comes into force on Monday due to the spread of the so-called Indian variant in the UK.

England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has said the Indian variant, B.1.617.2, is expected to become the dominant strain.

He said it is “more transmittable” than the UK variant first identified in Kent, which was responsible for the UK’s second wave of coronavirus infections last winter.

It then spread across Europe too.

Essential travel into France will be limited to reasons of health, family emergencies or business.

Alpine areas remain hoping to welcome British visitors this summer and have embarked on promotional campaigns:

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Summer in the mountains

Summer in the mountains

France had planned to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the UK or those with a negative test to visit from 9th June.

“There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom. We will set up compulsory isolation for people coming from the UK,” said the  French government.

The move casts doubt over the start of the summer tourist season for those wishing to head to the mountains.

People will be allowed to self-isolate at a residence of their own choice.

Anyone breaking quarantine faces a fine of up to €1,500.

Earlier last week Austria announced it was banning flights from the UK from Tuesday June 1st.

Flights to Austria from the UK were banned between December 2020 and March 2021.

Air services between the two countries resumed on March 21st 2021.

Entry to Austria from the UK will only be possible with a negative PCR test, and only  Austrian citizens and residents will be allowed to enter the country, apart from certain groups such as humanitarian workers.

Currently easyJet flights from London Gatwick to Innsbruck in the Tirol will not resume until 3rd August.

Innsbruck airport

Easyjet at Innsbruck airport

Germany recently banned travellers from the UK from entering the country due to the spread of the so-called Indian variant.

France, Austria and Germany remain on the UK’s amber list.

Other alpine nations are monitoring the spread of the so-called Indian variant in the UK.

Chamonix in the summer

Chamonix in the summer. Image © PlanetSKI.