Portsmouth port and Brittany Ferries welcome travel rules U-turn including scrapping of France quarantine

Last night (August 4) the government announced a change to some of its travel restrictions meaning those coming back from France can avoid a ten-day isolation period if they have had both Covid jabs.

This means France will be downgraded from amber-plus to amber at 4am on August 8.

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Andrew Williamson, passenger operations manager at Portsmouth International Port – which operates ferries to France, said: ‘The announcement that quarantine restrictions will be dropped from 4am on Sunday 8 August for arrivals from France, who have had both vaccinations, is welcome news after a difficult 18 months for the travel industry.

‘Combined with the restart of a number of popular Brittany Ferries routes this summer, this means we are ready to get back to what we do best – giving customers the best possible experience when they start their adventures.

‘Traveling by sea is one of the safest ways to travel. You can drive on in your own car, and then enjoy all the facilities on board whilst knowing that the fresh sea air is keeping everything well ventilated. There is plenty of room for social distancing, and Brittany Ferries have introduced robust procedures in order to keep their passengers safe.

‘As a port, we have already welcomed travelers back in a safe and sensitive way. We’re still asking passengers to wear a face covering in our terminal, which has spacious, modern facilities. We were also one first ports in the UK, recognized by independent assessors DNV, for our new protocols to manage and reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections. ‘

The Mont St Michel ferry that travels between Portsmouth and Caen. Picture: Sarah Standing (290620-785)

Brittany Ferries has welcomed the move and said it has spaces on sailings from Portsmouth over the summer.

‘There’s a hotel pricing and capacity issue in the UK at the moment, as demand is outstripping supply,’ said Paul Acheson, its sales and marketing director. ‘That means hotels are either fully booked or significantly more expensive than in previous years. Ours is a great alternative. Head to the south coast, sail to France and stay in locations boasting wide open spaces, golden beaches and fabulous restaurants. There’s nothing to lose now that transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed no change to new rules for at least the next month. ‘

The change coincides with several amendments to the government’s traffic light system.

As of Sunday seven countries including Germany, Austria and Norway will be added to the green list, meaning no isolation is needed for all travelers on return and one PCR test is required when home.

However, Spain will remain on the amber list. This means only travelers who are fully vaccinated will continue to enjoy a quarantine-free return.

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