Is it safe to travel to France? Latest as coronavirus cases hit 5,000, shops are closed and flights are cancelled
FRANCE'S cases of coronavirus are continuing to rise, with nearly over 5,400 confirmed cases and 127 deaths.
As cafes, restaurants and shops close, and flight are cancelled, here is the latest advice if heading to France on holiday.
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What is the travel advice for France?
The UK government has not warned against travelling to France although this is likely to change at the last minute, so Brits should stay up to date with the latest advice.
The country is not currently locked down, but this is also likely to change in a few days as the country looks into shutting down parts of France such as Paris.
The Foreign Office currently warns: "The French government outlined new measures on March 14 to delay the spread of coronavirus.
"This includes the closure of all non-essential establishments open to the public from March 14, until further notice (i.e. restaurants, cafes, cinemas).
"All ski resorts in France are closed with immediate effect until further notice."
Supermarkets, pharmacies, fuel stations and banks remain open, although people are warned to avoid any travel excluding the need to buy food or medicine, or to go to work.
Jerome Salomon, head of the country's health service, told local media: "Remain at home, it's as simple as that."
Can I cancel my holiday to France?
Airlines such easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways are allowing passengers to change their flights to a later date, free of charge.
Jet2 has cancelled all flights to France.
British Airways has cut hundreds of flights, including to France, while flights from France to the US will no longer go ahead following the ban on all Europe countries travelling to the country – and Brits who visit France will also be prevented from entering the US.
Travellers using the Eurostar are currently unaffected, but can change their travel plans: "We continue to operate our trains to all destinations.
"However, we recognise that many customers are changing their travel plans and to provide flexibility and peace of mind we are introducing a measure to help customers.
"If you are due to commence your outbound Eurostar journey between Friday 13 March and Tuesday 7 April 2020, we will be pleased to offer you an eVoucher equivalent to the full value of your current Eurostar train or Eurostar package (train + hotel) booking."
They advise to get in touch if you have been quarantined and are unable to travel, but that travellers should contact their travel insurance provider as well.
The only time that tour operators are required to give a refund on holiday packages is if the Foreign Office changes its travel advice for a region and turns it into a no-go area.
Independent hotels are not even required to refund money in this instance, so if you have paid in advance and choose not to turn up then you will lose your money.
If the hotel is a large chain, it could be worth asking to change your stay to another location or delay your trip but they are under no obligation to grant this.
If you are still concerned, here is everything to know about cancelling your holiday.
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