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Essential reasons list for visiting France from UK to be extended

In due course ministers will consider lifting the essential reasons requirement entirely, the government’s spokesman said today

[Update January 6 at 16:50 - Details on the new expanded list can be found in our article here]

Additional ‘essential reasons’ for coming to France from the UK are expected to be announced shortly, having been agreed on by ministers today.

Lifting the requirement entirely will also be on the agenda the next time senior ministers meet in the Conseil de défense sanitaire (health defence council), government spokesman Gabriel Attal said today.

These meetings, often combined, as today, with the weekly meetings of the French cabinet, have been held regularly during the pandemic to take decisions related to fighting Covid-19.

Asked if the current travel restrictions for the UK are not becoming pointless as the Omicron variant (the reason for the rules) is now prevalent in France also, Mr Attal confirmed that they would lift such measures if the health situations in France and restricted countries become comparable.

"When we observe that the Omicron variant is circulating just as much here as elsewhere, that the situations are truly comparable, we will ease the measures" in place, he said. 

He added: “As an example 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 the place at the border with the UK.”

In the UK, 194,747 new Covid cases were recorded today (January 5), while in France Santé publique reported a record 332,252 new infections. 

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