UPDATE: When can second home owners travel to France?

As France exits its second lockdown, here's how the rules apply for second-home owners.

UPDATE: When can second home owners travel to France?
Second home owners have been excluded from France for large parts of the year. Photo: AFP

The roadmap for exiting lockdown laid out by French Prime Minister Jean Castex has three stages, with December 15th the key date for people looking to cross borders.

READ ALSO The next key dates in France's plan to end lockdown

Here's an outline of the latest;

I'm at my second home in France, can I return to my home country?

Yes, foreigners who were in France on a visit when lockdown came in are allowed to return to their home countries.

If you are returning to the UK, you will also need to fill in the quarantine locator form before you re-enter the country, and then quarantine for 14 days once you arrive – find this form HERE.

Can I travel to France to visit my second home?

It depends on where you are travelling from.

From December 15th, France, lifts its lockdown which means that all forms of travel – including for tourism and to visit second homes – are again allowed with no extra paperwork required.

This means that people travelling from the UK, the EU and Schengen zone countries are again be allowed to enter France and visit second homes.

All shops are open, but bars, restaurants and cafés remain closed until January and the French government asks people to keep travel and family gatherings to a minimum. There is also an 8pm-6am curfew in place – full detail on the rules around that HERE.

Public gatherings remain banned.

Ski resorts also remain closed until January, so if your second home is in a skiing area you can travel there, but don't expect the slopes to be open.

The EU's external borders remain closed, so non-essential travel to France is still not allowed for non-Europeans.

What about travel for British people?

For British travellers the situation has been slightly complicated by Brexit.

France has followed the EU's declarations on its external borders which state that at present travel within the EU and Schengen zone is allowed for any reason, but travellers coming in from outside the bloc must be travelling for an essential reason, unless they are coming from one of the short list of 'safe' countries.

At present travel from the UK counts as internal travel, but that will change on January 1st and a trip from the UK will count as an external trip.

Unless a special exception is made, that means that from January 1st, people can only travel from the UK for essential reasons, which would again shut out second home owners. Find out more in the latest travel situation HERE.

Return trip

People planning a trip to France need to also bear in mind restrictions that their own country imposes on arrivals from France, including quarantines, compulsory testing and travel forms. These apply to all arrivals – even residents and citizens of that country.

If your home country advises against international travel, this could invalidate your travel insurance.

For more in international travel rules, click HERE.

Member comments

  1. Hi All, we are stuck in UK and know it is not safe to travel for us without a vaccine, due to health issues. We have applied for our Carte de Sejours for us both on line. How will this affect our Carte Vitale when we return next year to allow us our health care? Will having an application placed, even though we cant yet return to the prefecteur to finish the carte de sejours? Any legal boffs out there to help or advise??

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French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.