France will dramatically tighten restrictions on travel from Britain to slow the spread of the new Omicron variant , effectively banning all non-essential journeys.

The government announced in a statement that incoming travellers would require “an essential reason to travel to, or come from, the UK, both for the unvaccinated and vaccinated” from midnight on Saturday (11pm GMT Friday).

“People cannot travel for tourism or professional reasons,” it said, adding that the British government had itself said that the UK would face “a tidal wave” of new infections fuelled by the Omicron variant .

France had therefore “chosen to reinstate the need for an essential reason for travel from and to the UK”, it said.

In addition, all arrivals from the UK will need a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the previous 24, rather than 48 hours, and will have to quarantine in France for seven days – reduced to 48 hours if they can produce a new negative test.

“All travellers from the UK must register before their departure on a digital platform allowing them in particular to give the address where they will be staying in France,” the statement said, adding that the quarantine requirement would be policed.

French citizens, their partners and children, as well as people legally resident in France and EU citizens travelling to their homes through France, would not have to demonstrate an essential reason for travel and would still be able to enter France, the government has said, but would have to comply with all other […]

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