France Eases COVID-19 Restrictions on International Travelers

PARIS (Reuters) -
A police officer directs traffic at the entrance to the closed ferry terminal in Dover, England, Dec. 21, 2020, after the Port of Dover was closed and access to the Eurotunnel terminal suspended following the French government’s announcement. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

France will ease some COVID-19 restrictions on international travel outside Europe, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that travelers to or from Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Britain and Singapore would no longer have to need a compelling reason to travel.

French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said this easing was due to the improving health situation in those countries.

“The list includes Britain, because the U.K. variant now also circulates widely in France,” he said on his Twitter feed.

All other restrictions, such as a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test less than 72 hours before travel, would remain in place, the ministry said, adding a decree was due to be published on Friday.

Lemoyne said that for other non-European Union countries the list of legitimate travel motives would be widened, notably to take into account family situations.

The ministry said that in general it strongly recommends limiting international travel as much as possible.

France announced tighter rules on travel from outside the European Union on Jan. 14.