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New French air routes announced, including to the UK, Malta and Sweden

It comes as Australia and several other countries relax their Covid rules. Testing requirements for UK to France travel have also been eased

Countries including Australia, Greece and Portugal are easing their restrictions on international travellers Pic: muratart / Shutterstock

Several countries have announced the lifting of restrictions on international travellers, making trips abroad easier for people in France. 

Australia will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on February 21, after nearly two years of restrictions. Travellers will not need to have had a booster vaccine dose to be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’.

Greece has also relaxed its travel rules, removing its testing requirement for vaccinated travellers in possession of an EU digital Covid certificate (which can be accessed through France’s TousAntiCovid app) wishing to enter the country.

It should be noted that people travelling between and into EU countries must receive a booster vaccine dose within 270 days of their second (or first in the case of the single-dose Janssen jab) in order to maintain their ‘fully vaccinated’ status in their EU Covid certificates and thus easier travel rules.

Read more: Booster Covid jab now needed within nine months for easier EU travel

Under current rules, air passengers over the age of five must present the negative result of an antigen test taken in the last 24 hours, or a PCR test taken in the last 72 hours in order to enter Greece.

By relaxing testing rules, Greece hopes to create a favourable travel environment for summer when it expects to welcome a “record” number of cruise passengers. 

Testing requirements are also being dropped for fully vaccinated travellers to Portugal, who will be permitted entry as long as they can present their vaccination certificates. 

“Those who present the EU Covid Digital Certificate in any of its modalities or other proof of vaccination that has been recognised” will be exempt from the previous mandatory testing requirement, the Portuguese government said in a statement.

Until now, travellers have had to present the negative result of an antigen test taken within 48 hours of their journey or a PCR test taken in the 72 hours before. 

The Portuguese government has not specified when testing rules will be removed but its current system was due to remain in place until at least February 9.

The rule relaxations come as France eases its testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from the UK. 

Vaccinated people must still take a pre-departure PCR or antigen test, but this can now be in the 48 hours before their journey begins. Unvaccinated travellers will still need to take the test in the 24 hours before. 

Read more: France drops 24-hour Covid test for fully vaccinated UK travellers

Read more: Boosters, tests: what are Covid rules for vaccinated UK-France travel?

New French air routes for spring and summer breaks 

As Covid restrictions ease around the world airlines are launching new routes for the summer. 

Ryanair will be flying from Bournemouth to Bergerac (Dordogne) from June 4, adding to its Liverpool, Bristol and London - Bergerac routes. 

The low-cost airline will also be starting flights from Béziers (Hérault) to Stockholm on June 4, from Bordeaux to Malta from March 27 and from Bordeaux to Zadar (Croatia) from March 28.

Passengers will also be able to travel from Bordeaux to Athens from May 28 with Spanish airline Volotea.

EasyJet is launching two new Paris-Charles de Gaulle routes to Bari (Italy) and Larnaca (Cyprus) from late March. 

There will be two or three weekly flights to Bari and two to Larnaca, running until late October.

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Planes, trains, ferries, Covid rules: eight France travel updates

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