France Lifts Covid Transit Ban on Britons

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France has allowed Britons hoping to transit the country to reach homes elsewhere in the European Union.

This came after a surprise clampdown caused dismay for thousands of travellers.

Under tougher Covid rules that began this week, non-resident Britons can no longer drive through France. Only those with a primary French residence can enter.

Many Britons take the Channel Tunnel from England to France, using Eurotunnel’s Shuttle service, to take cars from the UK to their homes in other EU countries.

But over the holidays many returned to Britain to visit family and friends without knowing that France was planning the tougher rules on non-residents.

But with Britain no longer part of the EU, Britain is a “third country” whose citizens face the same rules as those of other nations outside the bloc.

“Unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered third country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU,” Eurotunnel said in a tweet late Wednesday.

P&O Ferries issued a similar tweet warning that “only those with French residency will be permitted to enter France”.

Similar Rules in Austria

Last week, Innsbruck airport refused to allow 110 British tourists’ entry into Austria over the new Covid rules.

Police said many did not make in due to a new rule requiring a negative PCR test within 48 hours.

Austrian opposition politicians blamed the health minister for failing to update restrictions on the internet.

Most of the tourists returned home immediately, but 40 spent the night in a hotel.

Of those 40, 12 underwent new PCR tests and continue with their holidays, the local authority in Innsbruck said.

Austria has imposed last week a nationwide lockdown for people who did not receive their full vaccination against COVID-19.

The move aimed at slowing the fast spread of the disease in the country. The move went into effect at midnight on Sunday.