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TRAVELLING TO FRANCE

Speed cameras in France now detect if your car has insurance

French authorities want to crack down on bad drivers without insurance by using speed cameras to monitor them and then send them letters warning them of a potential €750 fine.

Speed cameras in France now detect if your car has insurance
Photo AFP

The next time a ‘radar’ in France snaps a photo of you at the wheel, it won’t just be the speed at which you’re driving that they monitor, your vehicle’s insurance – or lack thereof – will also be under scrutiny. 

This is part of a new law introduced in France on Tuesday by the country’s delegation for Road Safety (part of the Interior Ministry) which will use the country’s File of Insured Vehicles (FVA) to correlate whether a driver caught speeding actually has insurance.

Speed traps which take a photo of a car driving over the speed limit will automatically link the vehicle’s registration number to the insurance files.

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Police officers carrying out road checks will also have direct access to the FVA files.

As first, only “warning letters” will be sent to encourage drivers caught speeding to take out insurance.

“After a few months, those who still aren’t insured will receive a fixed fine of €750,” road safety ministry head Emmanuel Barbe told France Info.

“Driving uninsured carries first and foremost an extremely serious risk of ruining one's life” due to the cost of compensation and repairs.

“Uninsured drivers who have caused a road accident find themselves having to pay this debt they created for themselves for the rest of their lives.”

In 2018, 175 people died in an accident involving an uninsured vehicle in France.

Authorities estimate that the total number of drivers without vehicle insurance in France numbers around 700,000 people.
 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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