France is the sixth most affected country in the world by coronavirus, closely following Spain. That’s enough to put jetsetters off, with many people opting to stay in the UK instead. But is it safe to travel to France, and is it possible to cancel your trip last minute? Express.co.uk gives you all the details you need to know.
Is it safe to travel to France?
Although coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in France, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice does not directly warn against visiting the country.
The website says: “There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus in China and elsewhere, including France.
“The government has introduced a range of measures including prohibiting gatherings which involve more than 1000 attendees. You should contact the organiser of events or local authorities for further information.
“Certain local authorities continue to implement measures such as minimising local travel, closing local schools and cancelling smaller events.”
At the moment, there are no restrictions. British people are free to travel to France, and aren’t required to self-quarantine when they return.
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How do I stay clear of coronavirus while in France?
If you do end up travelling to France, the French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs has published a list of guidelines online.
The document reads:
- Wash your hands very often
- Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve when you cough our sneeze
- Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek
- Use single-use tissues
- Wear a mask when ill (only if prescribed by a doctor).
Should I wear a face mask when I travel to France?
Although there is evidence both for and against wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, you don’t need to wear one in France.
The French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs advises: “It is not recommended that you wear a surgical mask if you do not have any symptoms.
“Masks are not effective for the general public because they cannot be worn at all times and they are not necessary unless you are in close or long-term contact with someone is ill.
“Masks are therefore reserved for ill people and only with a doctor’s prescription, people who are in proven high-risk contact, emergency care professionals, medical transport professionals, and health professionals working in the community and at hospitals.”
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Can I cancel my holiday to France?
Since there are no travel restrictions in France, it’s unlikely you will be able to cancel your flights and get a refund.
If your flights have been cancelled by the airline – for example, British Airways has cut hundreds of flights, including to France – then you might be in luck.
If you were planning to travel via Eurostar, the same applies- services will be running as normal.
Get in touch with your travel provider to see what can be done.
Keep in mind that the only time you are likely to get a refund is if the FCO changes their advice on travelling to France.
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