France’s government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced on Wednesday (January 5) that Covid travel rules for the UK could be eased the next time ministers and the president meet for a special Covid meeting.
These meetings are called Conseils de défense sanitaire, and involve President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Jean Castex, Health Minister Olivier Véran, and several other ministers important in combating the pandemic.
The meetings have in the past been held weekly, but recently have been more sporadic. There is not yet a fixed date for the next one.
They are often combined with meetings of the Conseil des ministres (French cabinet), which are usually held on Wednesday mornings at the Elysée though they may be called at other times.
Important decisions relating to Covid rules are usually made during the conseils de défense sanitaire.
The last such meeting, held on Wednesday (January 5) was the first of 2022. Before that, there was one on Monday December 27, Friday December 17, Monday December 6 and Wednesday November 24.
Mr Attal said on Wednesday: “We decided today in the Conseil de défense to enlarge the list of essential reasons for coming from the UK to France, notably professional reasons.
“And we have decided that at the next Conseil de défense we will consider whether we can entirely remove the restrictions put in place at the border with the UK.”
France yesterday (January 6) added two extra essential reasons for travel from the UK, including for certain urgent work trips and certain people transiting through France.
On the UK side, fully vaccinated travellers to England no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid test to enter the country. This rule came into force this morning (January 7).
From January 9, fully vaccinated arrivals will not have to quarantine while they wait for the result of their day two test, which will also no longer have to be a PCR.
Instead, cheaper lateral flow tests will once again be permitted. These can be booked from today.