Monday, 17 January 2022 23:06

French holiday bookings surge after Covid rule change

PARIS, France: After Paris changed its travel restrictions, announcing that UK travellers would only need to present a negative Covid-19 test taken 24 hours before leaving the UK, French holiday bookings soared.

Airline Jet2 saw a "sharp" rise in bookings and searches for flights to French skiing destinations, while Tour operator Tui said ski bookings doubled this week.

ABTA, which represents British travel agents, said the rule change was a relief for both holiday makers and travel firms.

"Thousands of people head [to France] for ski breaks at this time of year, so this will be a huge relief for customers with holidays booked there for the next few weeks, who have been waiting anxiously for news," ABTA said in a statement.

It added that the French government still had to provide more details on entry requirements, including rules for children.

"Bookings to France doubled yesterday, even before the announcement, and we would expect to see another very positive uptick now that it’s official," said Chris Logan, managing director of Crystal Ski Holidays, as reported by the BBC.

Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu said the relaxation of rules "comes as a great relief," adding that "businesses in the travel sector have struggled to survive."

"Thousands of Brittany Ferries passengers have been disrupted and millions of pounds in income have been lost as a consequence of draconian measures, like border closures," he said.

Rail operator Eurostar said it would "continue to increase the frequency of our services in the coming weeks" and that it was "ready to welcome more passengers on board".