France lifts EU-based British national transit ban

France has lifted the ban on British citizens residing in the EU. This means that EU-based British citizens spending Christmas in the UK can now pass through France and return to their homes in the EU.

France has banned all non-essential trips from the United Kingdom since December 18th to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

On Thursday, the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Agency (FCDO) updated its travel advice to France, stating: Return to their country of residence unless they are traveling by plane. “

The new rules effectively ban travelers attempting to return to EU countries other than France by Eurotunnel, Eurostar train, or ferry, affecting travelers who plan to avoid air travel and return to their EU homes. Give. British friends and relatives.

But later Thursday, the French government announced a policy reversal.

A spokesman for the French Ministry of the Interior said a spokesman for the French Interior said:

“In the face of this situation, after this Christmas and New Year, tolerate police officers on the border with the United Kingdom to allow these people to pass through France and reach the settlements of the European Union countries. Instructions were sent. Period of the year. “

A spokesman for the British government said: British citizens currently in the UK but residing in the EU will be able to return to their hometown via France without confusion during the New Year. “

A spokesman said the British government “is in close contact with the French authorities” on this issue.

Despite the policy reversal, most UK residents are still banned from going to France unless there is a “unavoidable reason”.

Meanwhile, the German embassy in London announced on Thursday that Germany would lift the ban on British tourists entering the country from January 4.

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps described the move as “a welcome development from a German colleague.”

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan