Unlike many other European countries, France has not closed its border, but from April 6th anyone entering the country requires a permission form.
Anyone who wants to travel within France already need to have a signed, timed and dated “attestation” with them, but now these will be required to enter the country as well.
The Attestation de déplacement internationale (international travel certificate) – which can be downloaded here and has a version in English – gives strict definitions of who is allowed into France during lockdown.
The form must be presented at the border, and also before boarding a ferry, train or plane heading to France.
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French citizens and their children are allowed back into the country, but foreigners are only allowed in under certain circumstances.
- People who have their primary residence in France. This does NOT include second home owners. Third country nationals will need to present a visa or residency card while EU nationals (which for this purpose still includes British people) do not need any proof of residency status.
- People who have their permanent residency in another European country and are travelling through France to get home
- Healthcare workers engaged in coronavirus-related care
- Commercial good carriers such as lorry drivers and flight or cargo crews
- Diplomatic staff
- Cross-border workers. So for example if you live in France but work in Switzerland you will still be able to travel back and forth.
Both French and British authorities have already made it clear that travel to second homes in France does not count as 'essential travel' under the lockdown rules.
The French Interior Ministry said: “French or British people are not allowed to travel to their second homes during the lockdown period.”
Meanwhile British authorities have urged those who are in France but not full time residents to go home.
Flights, trains and ferries to France are still running, albeit with severely restricted services as passenger numbers collapse.