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France recently announced a ban on all non-essential travel to France from the UK, from 2300 on Friday 17th December. We look at what this means for you if you had planned to travel to France for a holiday over the Christmas period.

What travel rules have changed?

All tourist travel to France from the UK is not allowed – until further notice. The ban on travel from the UK came into effect on Friday 17th December at midnight, which was 11 pm Paris time.

This means all UK citizens wishing to travel to France from the UK – including visiting family or friends for Christmas, are not able to do so. However, French citizens and their partners and children can still visit France.

What does this mean for my Christmas ski trip to France?

All Christmas and new year ski trip plans have been thrown into disarray by this recent announcement, and many travel companies have been forced to try and make alternative arrangements for British skiers who had been hoping to travel to France over the festive period. This is a blow to France’s tourism industry as the next two weeks are normally two of their busiest weeks of the year.

Many are hopeful that their planned trips to France can simply be switched to other locations if there are flights and hotels available – but the reality is that many trips may have to be cancelled.

Will I get a refund if I am unable to travel?

If you bought a package deal that is protected by ATOL – with both flights and hotel included – you should get a full refund if your tour operator is forced to cancel your planned trip. As has happened during previous lockdowns and travel bans, your operator may offer to defer your booking – but it is important to remember that you are under no obligation to do so.

Will I get a refund if I booked my own accommodation and travel?

If you booked your own accommodation and travel, and not a package deal, then whether you can get a refund or not will depend on the terms and conditions of your provider. Hopefully, you booked a flexible ticket and can therefore reschedule your trip. For example, EasyJet is offering free switches to alternative flights up to two hours before departure.

Eurostar is also offering a fee-free exchange or an e-voucher to those passengers who are forced to cancel their plans.

If you have a hotel booking as well, then you will need to check the terms of booking to see whether cancellation is allowed. If you booked through Airbnb for example, then you will be reliant on your host’s chosen cancellation terms. If you find yourself having to cancel at the last minute, then you may lose some or all of the cost of your booking.

Will my travel insurance cover me?

A handful of travel insurance providers have introduced COVID cover this year, and so if you have bought one of their policies then again you need to check the terms. However, many of the cheaper insurance policies will not cover cancellations due to these last-minute changes.

If you are able to get away this Christmas, then Fit2FlyTest has the PCR tests for travel you need to help you to do so safely.

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