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Germany to lift UK travel ban for fully vaccinated tourists
30 December 2021, 19:28
Germany will ease restrictions on travel from the UK in the New Year, it has been announced.
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From 11pm on Monday January 3, a ban preventing British tourists from travelling to the country will be lifted, according to the German Embassy.
It means that people who are fully vaccinated, or "have an important reason for travelling", will be allowed to enter.
Those who are fully vaccinated will not need a negative Covid test and do not need to quarantine for 14 days, the embassy said.
Germany announced earlier this month it was tightening restrictions on travel from the UK in an attempt to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.
The rules, which came into force on December 19, banned carriers such as airlines transporting British tourists to Germany.
Only German citizens and residents, their partners and children, and transit passengers were allowed to travel to the country from the UK and anyone entering Germany needed a negative PCR test and required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.
British tourists without "compelling reasons" to travel are still banned from France with French nationals and their spouses are exempt from the new rules.
Officials said they are taking steps to “drastically” restrict travel from the UK due to the Omicron surge.
A statement from French officials reads: "In the UK government's own words, the UK is facing a "tidal wave" of the Omicron variant in the coming days.
"In response to the extremely rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, the government is reinstating compelling reasons for travel to and from the UK, and strengthening the requirement for testing on departure and arrival."
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: "Blanket country measures are a damaging backwards step and never work.
"Omicron is already in France and other EU countries. Why should the millions boosted be treated the same way as those unvaccinated, and prevented from entry?"
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle has sparked confusion today, after updating their travel advice to inform British residents that they can no longer travel through France to reach a third country.
The train operator, which runs vehicle carrying trains between Dover and Calais, gave the information on their website, describing it as an "urgent update for British residents in [the] EU."
The company said the decision was made by the French government yesterday - though no announcement appears to have been made by officials in Paris.
The website states: "Unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered 3rd country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU."