Will UK travel ban affect supermarket goods in France?

There may be fresh seafood shortages this Christmas in France due to the temporary restrictions

22 December 2020
A Covid-related travel ban on the UK could leave France short of certain supermarket products, such as fish and seafood
By Connexion journalist

The CEO of a major retail cooperative in France has said that there may be a shortage of fresh fish and seafood in the country this Christmas after a temporary Covid-related ban on travel from the UK to France was put in place on Sunday, December 20.

France has suspended all travel with the UK for 48 hours in a bid to prevent a new variant of coronavirus that is spreading rapidly in the UK from crossing to France.

When will France-UK Covid-19 travel ban be lifted?

Dominique Schelcher, the CEO of retail cooperative Système U which comprises about eight hundred independent hypermarkets and supermarkets around France, has said this could affect supermarket stocks.

“There is a risk of shortages on December 23 and 24 on several products, particularly fish and seafood,” he told BFM TV. “There are live langoustines, scallops, monkfish tails that are stuck in trucks and that we may not have for the holidays.”

This situation raises broader questions about the consequences of Brexit for seafood products from January 1, Mr Schelcher said.

He stated that for many French fishermen, “fishing in British waters represents up to 75% of their catches”. 

He said that everything will depend on rules put in place from January 1.

The UK and the EU are still in the process of negotiating a trade deal. A transition period is in place until December 31, which sees the UK remain a member of the single market and customs union despite it no longer being a member of the EU. 

Mr Schelcher said “Without an agreement between London and Brussels, or even with a minimal agreement, there will undoubtedly be questions about the supply of fish and shellfish from the other side of the Channel at the beginning of the year”. 

Read more:

Brexit and Covid leaves Brittany Ferries in trouble

France-UK travel ban: Can I get a refund for my flight?

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