Will French drop British travel ban next week?

8th January 2022, by Abi Butcher

Christophe Lavaut, director of Val d'Isere, called the travel ban

Christophe Lavaut, director of Val d'Isere, called the travel ban "an economic disaster"

As rumours abound that restrictions in France on British travellers entering the country for leisure will be lifted at the end of next week, one company has estimated that ski resorts in the country have lost billions of Euros because of the ban.

Earlier this week, restrictions started to ease as France announced that Brits would be permitted entry for “work travel”, and there are hopes the restriction will be lifted in the coming days. With half term looming (14 – 18 February), President Macron and his team are under greater pressure than ever before to allow travel to resume. Some say he can no longer justify the ban after Covid cases in France soared in recent days — on 7 January, there were 220,727 confirmed cases per million people in France, overtaking the UK which recorded 180,025 per million on the same day (according to Our World in Data).

When the initial announcement was made in December, Christophe Lavaut, director of Val d’Isere, said: ‘It’s an economic disaster. No business in any sector can make it, losing 42 per cent of its clients in two days.’

Oxford Ski Company, which says 72% of its clients were set to travel to France this year, said although ski resorts in France have been told they will receive financial support to fill the void left by Brits, the repayment is likely to be substantial.

Oxford Ski marketing director Felix Hemsley said: “In 2018 the revenue generated by ski resorts in France was €1.4billion (Statista 2018), which based on Mr Lavaut’s metrics would suggest a country-wide financial sacrifice of over €600million – and whilst this is said to be “filled” by central government, the repayment of this debt will fall on the citizens of France for years to come, who are already crying out for our return.”

With hospital admissions up to 70 per cent less with Omicron than the Delta variant, and the vaccine booster programme in full swing, let’s hope we are all skiing in France soon.

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