As a result in a fall in the number of cases in seven countries, France will loosen travel restrictions for travellers originating from Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand and the UK.

A “compelling reason” to travel will no longer be needed. However, all travellers to France will still be required to provide a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours previously.

The UK has been included in the list because the so-called English variant is already widespread in France.

In December, France introduced stringent conditions for entry, making it impossible for British citizens to arrive in France unless they were holders of residency permits or fell into a number of very restricted categories, such as truck drivers or diplomats. It is unclear whether this restriction will be lifted.

Full details of the new rules are expected to be published on Friday, March 12.