France drops ban - but hang on ......



France relaxes ban on UK holidaymakers. Cue extravagant claims from the travel industry. Bookings jump 150%. All power to Julia Lo-Bue Said, boss of the Advantage travel agency group, for pointing out that the increase comes from a very low base. In other words (mine, not hers), 150% of 100 is 150). And M. Macron needs to make a further change before we can begin to plan ski trips with much confidence. You still need a negative PCR or antigen test in the last 24 hours before departure. It's difficult to plan a holiday in the knowledge that a last minute positive result could force you to call the whole thing off. Better, of course, if you book with a tour operator with flexible arrangements, allowing postponement until a later date. Much more problematic for travellers booking transport, hotels, ski hire etc independently. This is another example of politicians failing to understand the concerns of holidaymakers. Meanwhile if you do decide to take a chance and head for the slopes in the immediate future, remember the French demand you get the Pass Vaccinal, notably to access bars and restaurants. This is the new name for the Pass Santitaire (the change is from 24 January). The only difference is that only vaccinations qualify - and remember, if your are over 65 you must have received a booster to get it. Once you have the NHS travel app it's easy to transfer details of your vaccinations from that to the digital French pass. If my recent experience in Normandy is anything to go by, you will be asked to show it at the overwhelming majority of establishments. One the way in at one restaurant – as hectically busy as many lunch time eateries on the slopes – we were asked at the door to open the Pass Sanitaire on our phones and leave them on the table, to save staff time.