“There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal, announcing the change.
At present France’s travel rules apply to everyone, even if they are fully vaccinated.
The new rules will be introduced at 0.01am on Monday, May 31st and they are;
- Travel will only be allowed from the UK for vital reasons or motif imperieux, similar to the restrictions in place between December and March (full details below). Travel to second homes or to visit family and friends is not accepted as a vital reason. You will also need to fill in a form stating your reason, find it HERE
- People who are resident in France – including British residents – will not need to prove a vital reason to return to France, nor will French citizens or citizens of another EU country
- Anyone entering France from the UK will need to show a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours (not the previous 72 hours as was previously the rule)
- Arrivals should self-isolate for seven days, although this will not be enforced by police visits
#Variant | A compter de lundi, dispositif renforcé en provenance du 🇬🇧 #COVID19
👉🏻 motif impérieux exigé pour les ressortissants étrangers non résidents
👉🏻 test PCR ou antigénique de moins de 48h (et non plus 72h) pour tous
👉🏻 auto-isolement de 7 jours @francediplo @JBLemoyne
— Clement Beaune (@CBeaune) May 26, 2021
A statement from the Foreign Ministry said: “Compelling reasons will be required for non-EU foreign nationals not resident in France joining France from the UK.
“A PCR or antigen test less than 48 hours old will be required from anyone travelling to France from the UK;
“On arrival, travellers will be required to observe a 7-day isolation period. For the time being, given the low incidence of Covid in the UK, police checks on quarantine addresses will not be applied to them.”
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The testing and quarantine rules will apply to all arrivals into France from the UK, including French and EU citizens and people who have their permanent residence in France, although previous travel restrictions have included exemptions for hauliers and other vital workers.
France already has in place strict rules on travel from India, which bans almost all transport and enforces a strict 10-day quarantine, enforced by visits from the police. This quarantine regime will not be enforced on arrivals from the UK.
However the French government had become increasingly concerned about arrivals from the UK, which has seen a rapidly rising number of cases, particularly in hotspots in the north of England.
Germany and Austria have already imposed additional measures for people arriving from Britain over variant fears.
The list of accepted reasons for vital travel previously published by France (with documents accepted as proof of travel) are as follows;
- The death of a parent, grandparent, child or sibling or visit to one of these family members who has received a terminal medical diagnosis (death certificate or doctor’s letter will be needed)
- Childcare by a parent or guardian with custody or visitation rights (court letter and proof of address)
- Providing vital assistance to a sick or disabled person (document establishing relationship)
- Travel for legal or judicial reasons (letter or summons)
- A legal or economic reason that makes it impossible to remain in the country you are travelling from eg the expiry of a residency card
- Travel for reasons of personal safety eg domestic violence or custody dispute (any documentation relating to the situation)
- Returning to your main residence (proof of residency eg carte de séjour, receipt of application for carte de séjour or proof of address, plus tickets showing your outward journey)
- Students beginning or ending a period of study (documentation from the place of study)
- Medical emergency (one person can accompany the sick person if necessary, doctor’s letter or hospital appointment card)
- Vital work requiring an in-person presence where the work cannot be cancelled or postponed without disproportionate consequences (attestation from employer plus professional card if applicable)
- Health professionals engaged in Covid-related work (professional ID)
- Diplomatic or state work trips which cannot be cancelled or postponed (professional ID and/or letters from relevant ministers)
- High-level sports professionals participating in fixtures approved by the sports minister (professional ID and documentation from the sports ministry)
- Couples who are married or in a civil partnership where one of the members is living abroad for professional reasons
- Minor children attending school in France while the family home is established abroad
- Couples with children, one living in France, the other abroad and separated.
- Students taking a competitive examination
According to French government figures, around 10,000 people arrive into France from the UK every day, of which around 3,000 are hauliers, often passing through France on the way to other destinations.