Since December 21st most types of travel from the UK to France have been banned after the British government announced that a new strain of the Covid-19 virus, which they said was highly contagious, had been discovered.
For 48 hours France closed its UK border completely, and then on December 23rd reopened the border to certain groups of travellers only – French or EU citizens, permanent residents of France or another EU country, or those travelling for essential purposes such as hauliers.
However people moving to France were not on the list and this posed a major problem for British citizens – who need to be resident in France by December 31st in order to take advantage of the provisions of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
However the French government has now updated its travel advice and added to the categories of those who are allowed to travel – including those who are moving to France.
The full list of people who are allowed to travel from the UK to France is;
- French citizens or citizens of another EU country
- Non-French citizens who are permanent residents of France or another EU country
- People spending less than 24 hours in France in transit to another country
- Members of an official mission or diplomatic staff and their families
- Health professionals engaged in Covid-related care
- People engaged in the international transport of merchandise (such as lorry drivers)
- Transport workers or fishing crew
- International students
- Professors or researchers in a French educational establishment
- Non-EU citizens travelling on a 'talent visa'
- Anyone who has a pass issued by the Interior Ministry
- People moving to take up residence in France or another EU member state before December 31st
- People travelling to France for healthcare
- People travelling to exercise custody rights recognised by a court decision
- Humanitarian workers or international volunteers
- Cross border workers or posted workers who commute regularly to France
- Seasonal workers
- Journalists travelling for work-related reasons
However it's not all plain sailing as you need extra paperwork before you can travel.
Anyone travelling from the UK needs;
A negative Covid-19 test – this must be taken within 72 hours of travel – the test should be a PCR nasal swab test, although certain types of the rapid-result antigen tests are permitted, but only those listed by the French health ministry below. Children under 11 are the only group exempt from the test requirement
— Alexandre Holroyd (@alexIholroyd) December 22, 2020
A sworn statement – declaring that you have not had any Covid symptoms during the 14 days before your journey
An international travel certificate – as was required during lockdown, an attestation de déplacement international (international travel certificate) is again required for trips from the UK. You can find the form HERE to download and there is a version in English. You need to fill in your personal details and then tick your reason for travel from the list provided.
You will need to have this paperwork ready before departing the UK and it will be requested by your travel provider before boarding your plane/ferry/train.
Any British person who is resident in France or another EU country before December 31st falls under the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, which gives more generous terms for settling in the country.
People who want to move after the Brexit deadline face a much more stringent regime requiring visas for any stay longer than 90 days.