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Who is allowed to enter France under rules on ‘essential’ travel?

Who is allowed to enter France under rules on 'essential' travel?
(Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)
France will soon relax the rules on entering the country for vaccinated travellers. But for those not fully inoculated only certain categories of people with "essential motives" will be able to come to France. Here's the latest explanation.

Currently all travel to France from outside the EU is restricted to certain “essential” categories of people such as French citizens or residents in France.

But from June 9th a new traffic light classification, which divides countries into green, orange and red based on Covid rates and variants.

All travellers from green countries are free to enter France, but those coming from orange or red countries are effectively split into two groups: those fully vaccinated and those who are not.

From orange countries, hose who are vaccinated will be able to enter the country freely and won’t need to quarantine (but will still need a negative Covid test to enter) but those who are not fully vaccinated are still subject to restrictions. That means: 

  • Only those from a certain list of “essential” (motif imperieux) categories of travellers can travel
  • For over 11s, a negative Covid test taken within the previous 48 hours (either a PCR test or antigen test is allowed)
  • An undertaking to quarantine for seven days once in France.

For the full explanation of the rules for each group, click HERE.

The motif imperiuex have now been clarified by the French government, and these apply to both orange and red countries.

In order to enter France you will need to fill out an attestation de déplacement (travel certificate) and tick one of the following reasons. You may also need to provide documentary proof of your reason for travel such as a visa or residency card. You can find the form HERE.

The following groups are allowed to enter France;

  • French citizens and their spouse or partner and children
  • EU citizens who have their permanent residence in France, or in another EU country and are transiting through France in order to return to their home. Spouses, partners and children of EU nationals living in France or another EU country are also covered by this
  • Non-EU nationals who have their permanent residence in France or in another EU country and are transiting through France in order to return to their home. Proof of residency such as a residency card or visa will be required.
  • British nationals who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (ie who were permanent residents in France or another EU country before December 31st, 2020)
  • Non-EU nationals who benefit from a family reunification visa or are covered by refugee status
  • Health professionals engaged in the battle against Covid, or travelling to do research or internships connected to the pandemic. Spouses, partners and children are also covered by this
  • Non-EU nationals who have a passeport talent visa, plus their spouse, partner and children
  • Students enrolled at a higher education establishment in France
  • Employees in the road, sea, or air transport industries travelling to France or through France for work-related purposes, including hauliers
  • Non-EU nationals involved in diplomatic or consular work
  • Traveller spending less than 24 hours in France in transit to another country
  • Employees of the Channel Tunnel or police or customs staff engaged on work at the border

Unlike under previous travel restrictions there are no exemptions for travel for compassionate reasons such as visiting seriously ill family members.

Unlike the UK’s previous travel rules, there is no property exemption for visits from second-home owners and travel for tourism or family visits is also banned.


Member comments

  1. My mom is an EU citizen who will be moving permanently to live with me (her daughter) here in France. She is not vaccinated. Will she be allowed to enter under the essential reasons ?

  2. Hi Solid. (‘tho this site shows that I’m replying to a “fionasteph6”!),

    At least I’ve seen a few comments in UK internet musings, asking since when was going on holiday a (God given) right. The media are partly responsible for this, as is the so-called leader, & are almost surprised when people say they plan to stay in the UK. Lots of people there can’t afford any holiday at all. They get forgotten until it’s time for a piece on food banks or welfare payments.

    Yes, 2016 was a horror show.

    A lot of people don’t want to just visit their holiday homes vchayman, that’s a luxury the majority can’t afford, they want to feel international cooperation is most important.

  3. What are the rules on UK nationals travelling into France from countries other than the UK, for instance other EU member states?

  4. The govt website is still listing compassionate reasons for travel and not showing permission for familial reunification of EU family members resident in France.

  5. THE TRUTH OF OUR CURRENT SITUATION RESTS WITH ALL THE MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY OUR POLITICAL LEADERS. HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL ALL THE SO-CALLED BENEFITS SHOW THEMSELVES ?
    I KNOW THAT BREXIT WAS BY A DEMOCRATIC VOTE, JUST, BUT THE POWERS THAT BE ,TOLD SO MANY EXAGGERATED CLAIMS THAT ARE UNREALISTIC ?
    I HOPE THAT THE COUNTRY I LOVE WILL NOT RUE THE DAY THAT WE ARE STRANDED OUTSIDE A EUROPE, WITH A POTENTIAL MARKET OF HALF A MILLION , WE HAVE SHOT OURSELVES IN THE FOOT. I DOUBT IF I WILL EVER BENEFIT FROM THE SO CALLED ADVANTAGES .
    THOSE WHO RELY ON EXPORTS TO EUROPE ARE HAVING PROBLEMS NOT OF THEIR MAKING.

  6. Must admit to being a bit fromaged off with paying to have my bin emptied etc and no interest in allowing visits . The main problem seems to come from the pseudo French who still are happy to travel to the uk , but are keen to keep us second home owners out ‘because of covid’

  7. PS Sorry. If it’s only if enrolled in an ed. establishment then I may be misleading you, but he could ring the consulate to clarify.

  8. When I first read the new restrictions & then checked the French site last weekend it did allow for international students. Get your son to look on the French gov site. Good luck

  9. Everything isn’t about Brexit to us in Europe and the things that are were avoidable if you were awake and weren’t so self-entitled you did nothing about it. This situation has been written in big neon letters since the British voted to leave in 2016.

    And there’s this little cold-like thing on earth called COVID. It seems it’s quite bad. But apparently the UK has it beaten, so all the British now want to leave Britain on holiday.

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