Where is everyone? Covid and Brexit empty France’s north coast resorts | France holidays | The Guardian
With the approach of the summer holidays, the two French seaside towns of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and Le Crotoy would normally be gearing up for the annual wave of tourists from neighbouring Belgium and, above all, from the UK.The resorts sit opposite each other across the majestic Bay of the Somme, a wetland of shifting sands and tides where the tranquil river suddenly expands into a spectacular estuary opening up into the Channel. The bay is a popular stop-off for British travellers heading to Paris and the south of France, as well as a place of pilgrimage for its war memorials, museums, cemeteries and battle sites. But this is not a normal year. France is just coming out of a lengthy lockdown and six months of early-evening curfews, with customers not allowed inside bars and restaurants until 9 June. Belgian visitors are few and far between as most await the implementation of the EU digital Covid passport to plan their holidays, hoping to avoid PCR tests each time they cross a border. And the British are simply absent, with France on the UK’s amber list.