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France’s coronavirus cases fluctuate, with just 339 cases recorded on November 26 but 1,005 two days before. The country is currently in a national lockdown, so what does this mean for holidays to France this festive season? Can we travel to France for Christmas?
At present, most Brits are not allowed to travel abroad.
However, when the national lockdown ends on December 2 holidays are allowed for citizens in Tiers 1 to 3.
France is a popular holiday choice for Brits in the winter, with more than 250 ski resorts to choose from and stunning city sites to visit.
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Can we travel to France for Christmas?
You can visit France this Christmas, but France is not on the travel corridor list so you will need to quarantine for two weeks when you get back.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all but essential travel to the whole of France, based on “the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”
You will also need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ to say you don’t have coronavirus symptoms and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the last two weeks
The country is in a national lockdown right now, meaning you will need a certificate to explain why you are leaving your home or accommodation while in France.
Hotels, gites, campsites and “similar establishments” are allowed to stay open but may be closed anyway due to lack of customers.
Ski resorts are also closed, but France’s President Emmanuel Macron has said they may be able to reopen in January.
He explained: “It seems impossible to plan for them to open for the holidays but we should aim for a reopening sometime in January.”
What’s happening in France?
The French government put the country into national lockdown on October 30, so now probably isn’t the best time for a French getaway.
This news was announced as the nation’s coronavirus cases started to creep up after months of a relatively small number of cases.
Coronavirus peaked in France on April 15, with 1,438 cases reported in 24 hours.
The country managed to keep its daily cases mainly below 100 until September.
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On October 30, 545 cases were reported and the rate started to get higher and higher.
On November 20, there were a staggering 1,220 cases reported.
Putting the nation into lockdown seems to have improved the situation, and French President Emmanuel Macron announced a three-step plan to end the lockdown.
The lockdown rules in France will be lifted slightly on November 28, so if you did travel to France you may feel a little freer after this.
On this date, non-essential shops can reopen until 9pm, and people will be allowed to exercise for up to three hours a day and go up to 20km away from their homes instead of 1km.
However, people must still work from home where possible and trips outside the home should only be made when essential.
Anyone in France will need an attestation on them when they leave their homes, so you’d still essentially be house-bound.
When will the lockdown in France end?
Phrase two of the French lockdown lifting will commence on December 15, as long as cases remain under 5,000 a day.
On this day, lockdown will end and no one will need an attestation to leave their home.
People will be able to meet family and friends, but private gatherings are to be kept as small as possible.
Cinemas, theatres and museums will also reopen.
The 9pm curfew will be lifted on December 24 and December 25.
Phase three of the lockdown will occur on January 20, as long as case numbers stay below 5,000 a day.
This will see restaurants, cafes, gyms and leisure centres reopen and the abolition of the curfew.
Should I visit France?
If you are going to visit France, you are better off waiting until after Christmas.
In fact, the best option would be to wait until after January 20.
This is when the curfew will be over and more establishments are open.
Otherwise, you will be stuck in your accommodation and have very little to do.
If you want to go skiing, you should wait for more information in January as mentioned by President Macron.
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