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CHRISTMAS

‘Six adults around the table’: French PM recommends festive dinner limits

The French were advised by the prime minister that no more than six adults should be around the table at the festive "réveillon" dinners this year.

'Six adults around the table': French PM recommends festive dinner limits
Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The French had already been warned by their president that Christmas 2020 would be like no other.

The traditional réveillon dinners on December 24th and 31st which bring together family friends around the table will not quite be the same.

The Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that due to the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic in the country people should not gather in big numbers.

He said the government recommends no more than six adults around the table, without counting children.

READ ALSO What kind of Christmas can we expect in France this year? 

 

He called on the French to be “careful and united”.

“We need to respect hygiene barrier measures and respect the most vulnerable and the elderly,” he said.

Before the second lockdown imposed on October 30th the government had asked families to respect a “rule of six” but didn't make it a legally binding rule as it has been at times in the UK.

The French government added that limits on Christmas family gatherings due to Covid-19 were in place in many European countries. In Germany the limit has been set at 10 whilst in the UK three households are allowed to meet over the festive period.

When he announced the easing of lockdown rules last month President Emanuel Macron called on the French to be responsible over Christmas to prevent any resurgence of the virus.

 “Breathe and meet up, yes, but I appeal to your sense of responsibility,” he said.

“This won't be a Christmas holiday like any other.

“We must do everything in our power to avoid a third wave. If we want to avoid a third lockdown, we need to double our vigilance.”

If numbers permit, France will lift its lockdown on December 15th. After this date a 9pm curfew will be put in place, but the curfew will be lifted on December 24th and 31st.

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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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