Eight updates for plane, ferry and train travel to and from France


We take a look at some of the travel news for travel to, from and around France, by air, rail and sea, occurring this week.

New rules for EU travelers to the US

The US government has set entry requirements for vaccinated children and adults traveling to the country when its borders reopen next month.

It was recently confirmed that U.S. borders will reopen to fully vaccinated international travelers on November 8, for the first time since March 2020.

Those under the age of 18 and people with certain medical conditions will be exempt from vaccination requirements, but will still be required to provide a negative PCR test or side flow test performed within three days of travel if they are over two. years, just like vaccinated adults.

Those over 18 traveling from Europe to the United States once their Covid travel ban is lifted will be required by the airline to prove their vaccination status before boarding the plane.

Airlines must confirm that this evidence is from an “official source” and shows that the person received all necessary doses at least 14 days previously.

Travelers will be classified as fully vaccinated if they have received a vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or that has a World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use list. ), including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.

Airlines will also need to collect their passengers’ contact details for contact tracing purposes. This will be kept for 30 days.

All unvaccinated travelers authorized to enter the country – such as U.S. citizens – must take a Covid test the day before their trip.

The travel ban to the United States had included all countries in the Schengen zone, as well as the United Kingdom, China and India and others.

Read more: US announces border opening date for vaccinated visitors from EU and UK

Wales and Scotland replace second day PCR testing with lateral flow option

The Welsh and Scottish governments have announced that fully vaccinated travelers arriving from France and other non-redlisted countries will be able from this weekend to swap expensive second-day PCR tests for a cheaper side-flow option .

This change will take place on Sunday (October 31), one week after the relaxation of day two testing rules in England on October 24.

Read more: France-UK Travel: Cheaper “Second Day” Covid Tests to Begin October 24

When the UK government initially announced the switch to lateral flow testing, Scotland said it would not follow because PCR testing is more reliable. However, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson later said Scotland “intended to align with Britain’s post-arrival testing regime”.

Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan has announced that the nation will ‘reluctantly’ align with the new rules for England, despite concerns’ about the UK government’s approach – and the speed at which it opens. international travel.

“We are unable to introduce the changes at the same time as we have not received sufficient or timely information from the UK government on how these changes will work in practice,” she added.

“It’s not ideal.

“We have consistently urged the UK government to take a precautionary approach to reopening international travel.

“However, it is difficult for us to adopt a different testing regime than that required by the UK government, as the majority of Welsh travelers enter the UK through ports and airports in England.”

Northern Ireland has yet to confirm whether it will follow suit.

Three new countries added to France’s red list

The latest update to the French traffic light system for international travel added Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia to the red list.

Iran has been demoted to the Orange List, in which Singapore and Brunei have also gone green.

The destinations of the red list are countries or territories where “an active circulation of the virus is observed, with the presence of worrying variants”.

The list now includes Afghanistan, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Suriname and Turkey.

The restrictions imposed on travelers to and from these countries can be viewed on the French site. Website of the Ministry of the Interior.

DFDS offers free England-France crossings for NHS staff

The DFDS ferry company has launched a £ 1million giveaway for NHS staff.

The firm will make 7,500 tickets available for:

  • A round trip vehicle crossing from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais for two people
  • Round trip vehicle crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe for two people
  • A two-night round-trip crossing from Newcastle to Amsterdam for two people.

DFDS said this program was aimed at giving NHS staff a ‘well-deserved’ break from work during the Covid pandemic.

The program is part of a partnership with Blue Light Tickets, which runs ballots for free event and activity tickets for NHS employees.

Those who get their hands on a free ticket will be able to travel at any time until December 2022.

Read more: France grants exceptional aid of 45 million euros to Brittany Ferries in difficulty

Greenpeace wants tighter restrictions on European flights

Greenpeace calls on the EU to ban European flights whose journeys can also be made in a train journey of less than six hours.

In a new report released today (October 27), Greenpeace said such a rail alternative exists for 34% of the 150 busiest air routes between EU countries.

This includes the three most traveled routes in the EU – Paris-Toulouse, Paris-Nice and Athens-Thessaloniki.

21 other trips can be made in four hours, including Amsterdam-Paris and Paris-Frankfurt.

About a quarter of trips that last more than six hours are served by direct night trains or last less than 12 hours.

Even for longer journeys like Amsterdam-Madrid or Paris-Warsaw, it is possible to complete the journey in one day 84% of the time.

In its report, Greenpeace urges the EU to improve rail services for citizens, stating that: “the authorities could subsidize rail transport and encourage competition between operators, and on the other hand, they could increase the taxation of transport aerial ”.

Flights covering less than 1,500 km represent a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, according to Greenpeace.

Sarah Fayolle, the organization’s transport specialist in France, adds that: “When you travel from Paris to Amsterdam by plane, you create 10 times more CO2 than by train.

Haute-Garonne invests in the LGV but neighboring departments do not

Haute-Garonne has announced that it will invest 631 million euros in the development of a high-speed rail link (high-speed line) between Bordeaux and Toulouse and Bordeaux and Dax.

On October 14, the metropolis Toulouse Métropole pledged 616 million euros to the Grand Projet Sud-Ouest (GPSO), which includes the Bordeaux-Toulouse line as well as a Bordeaux-Spain link.

The Occitanie region then invested 1.3 billion euros in the project.

However, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques voted against participating in the financing of the GPSO.

Lot-et-Garonne officials consider the amount requested by the device too high, and say it would threaten their ability to invest in future projects.

The relevant departments will continue to negotiate with the national government to find a solution. However, an agreement will have to be found before the end of the year to allow the creation of a fund for local public establishments of local authorities, scheduled for March 2022.

The LGV Bordeaux-Toulouse line would make it possible to travel from Toulouse to Paris in three hours and ten minutes, an hour less than the current journey time.

This route – initially planned for 2024 but then postponed to 2027 at the earliest – will require funding of 7.5 billion euros to be carried out.

Air France resumes flights to Seychelles

Air France has resumed flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and the Seychelles after an 18-month hiatus.

Travelers will be able to leave for the capital Victoria on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, specifies the Air France website.

Air France is currently the only airline that offers a direct connection between Paris and Victoria.

Seychelles was until recently on France’s red list for travel, but has now gone orange.

French airlines demand extension of government support

French airlines hope the government will continue to support them as the Covid pandemic continues to impact their finances.

Anne Rigail of Air France, Pascal de Izaguirre of Corsair and Marc Rochet of Air Caraïbes and French Bee have come together to launch an appeal

Air traffic may have resumed since the lockdown and travel restrictions have been relaxed in Europe, but in August, only 57% of flights took off the same month in 2019.

With the end of the summer season, that figure has dropped to 52% of the number of services that were normally scheduled to run in September, due to a lack of business travelers.

Over the year as a whole, French airlines received only 35% of the revenues they received in 2019. Long-haul flights have suffered particularly, with only 8% of the number of flights that should normally leaving for Algeria running.

French airlines are therefore asking the government to extend its financial support plan, to freeze loan repayments and to prevent an increase in airport taxes.

French airports also continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. Aéroports de Paris (ADP), which manages around 20 international airports, records 39% of the passenger traffic it recorded in 2019.

The company does not expect things to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024-2027, a date that would be further pushed back by the emergence of new waves of infection or Covid mutations.

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