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Do children have to quarantine and test when arriving in France from UK?

France has imposed strict rules for all those travelling into the country from the UK but there's been confusion around whether these new restrictions such as quarantine and testing after 48 hours apply to young children. Not to mention all the paperwork.

A family travels through an aiport.
Do children have to quarantine and test when arriving in France from UK? (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

Reader question: I’m travelling from the UK to France with young children. Do they also need to quarantine and take a test to leave isolation after 48 hours? And what about all the online paperwork?

Initially when France announced its new rules for travel to and from the UK it was not clear if children were subject to the rule that all travellers arriving in France had to self-isolate for 10 days.

Not was it clear whether they also had to take a test to leave isolation after 48 hours or if their parents’ tests were sufficient.

Then there was the paperwork.

Travellers to France from the UK now need to fill in an online platform to alert French authorities of their place of isolation, fill in a “declaration of honour” that they have no Covid symptoms and also fill out an “attestation de déplacement vers la France Métropolitaine depuis le Royaume-Uni”.

But does this paperwork need to be filled in for each individual traveller including small children?

The French Consulate in London has now confirmed that all these rules only apply to travellers aged 12 and over.

The Consulate states: 

Children over twelve are subject to the same rules as adults, meaning they need:

  • PCR or Antigen test less than 24 hours before their departure
  • An “essential reason” (motif imperièux) for travel to France from the UK and the form showing it
  • A declaration of honour (that they have no Covid symptoms)
  • Fill out the eOS online platform for details of self-isolation address in France
  • Self-isolate on arrival in France and take a test to leave after 48 hours

So children under 12 are exempt from this paperwork and quarantine rules.

READ ALSO: The nine bits of paperwork you need for France-UK travel under new rules

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French parliament blocks return of the health pass for international travel

France’s new government has suffered an early setback as Parliament blocked a key part of the new Covid protocol bill, removing a clause that could have seen the return of the health pass at the French border.

French parliament blocks return of the health pass for international travel

The veille et de sécurité sanitaire bill is a roadmap for how the government intends to handle the Covid situation after the current health state of emergency ends on July 31st. 

The proposed legislation had provided for the possibility, if required, to restore the health pass for travel in and out of France, meaning travellers over the age of 12 would again have to show proof they have been vaccinated against the virus, have a recent negative PCR test, or have sufficient immunity after recently contracting the virus, in order to be allowed to enter France.

But, during a heated first reading – the atmosphere in the chamber was likened to a football match – MPs voted to remove the key article on the return of the health pass for travellers entering France from other countries.

The modified bill was adopted by 221 votes to 187 and 24 abstentions – mostly by MPs from the left – in the final vote on Tuesday night. 

The bill – which in its current form merely allows authorities to continue to collect health data on screening tests – must now go to the Senate.

“The times are serious,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Twitter, as she promised to “fight for the spirit of responsibility to prevail in the Senate.”

Health Minister François Braun also promised to “fight” in the Senate to restore the removed article to the bill, which he said had been “emptied of part of its content”. 

On July 8th, France passed 150,000 Covid-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

The country has seen a spike in infections since the end of June, due to the presence of the highly contagious Omicron and subvariants.

National health agency Santé Publique France reported around 120,000 infections per day over the week.

More than 1,000 patients with Covid are in intensive care, while over 17,000 remain in hospital.

France’s current health rules specify the use of the health pass only for hospitals and nursing homes – it is no longer in use for everyday venues like bars, restaurants, gyms or cinemas.

Masks are “strongly recommended” on public transport, but are only compulsory in hospitals and health establishments.

International arrivals from certain countries are required to show proof of either vaccination or a recent negative test, but most of the world is now on France’s ‘green’ list of countries with minimal travel restrictions.