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France lifts ban on travel to and from UK

France has announced the end of the strict rules that banned most types of travel to and from the UK.

France lifts ban on travel to and from UK
The France/UK border is reopening. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

France on Thursday announced the relaxation of strict travel restrictions that amounted to a ban on almost all travel between France and the UK.

Since December, people have only been able to travel to or from France to the UK if they fitted one of the very narrow criteria for motif impérieux (essential travel) – this ruled out tourism, family visits, visits from second-home owners, trips for compassionate reasons and – until last week – work travel.

However these restrictions will be lifted and fully-vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide the essential nature of their trip. Vaccinated arrivals from the UK will no longer need to quarantine.

All travellers aged 12 and over will, however, need to show a negative Covid test taken within the previous 24 hours.

The rules will come into effect on Friday, January 14th.

Announcing the changes, prime minister Jean Castex said: “In view of the predominance of the Omicron variant in both France and the United Kingdom, the government has decided to ease the specific health border control measures that were decided in December for vaccinated travelers from the United Kingdom.

“These measures were taken at a time when the epidemic was progressing spectacularly in the United Kingdom, while France was still relatively unaffected by the Omicron wave.

“The widespread spread of the variant in both countries has led the Government to decide on the following adjustments.”

 

Following the removal of the extra restrictions, the UK will be placed on France’s ‘red list’ for travel.

This means;

Vaccinated travellers – fully vaccinated people can travel to France for any reason and do not need to provide a reason for their journey.

All passengers ager over 12 do, however, have to provide at the border a negative Covid test, taken within the previous 24 hours. This can be an antigen or PCR test, but not an NHS home test kit.

UK lateral flow tests that are self-administered at home and verified by a provider can be accepted as long as they provide a certificate for travel with all the correct information that can be verified by border police and transport companies. It’s advised that travellers check with their test provider to ensure they provide a full certificate of results.

All travellers aged 12 and over also need to fill in a declaration that they do not have Covid symptoms and have not recently been in contact with an infected person – find the form here.

Once in France, there is no need to self-isolate or take any more tests.

‘Fully vaccinated’ is defined as having two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Janssen. A booster shot is not necessary to be considered as fully vaccinated (although you may need one in order to use the French health pass).

Unvaccinated travellers – unvaccinated travellers can only travel if they trip fits one of the ‘essential reasons’  for travel. You can find those HERE – they do not allow for tourism, family visits or visits from second-home owners.

Those who do meet the criteria for travel must provide a negative test taken within 24 hours of departure.

In addition to the declaration form mentioned above, they must also fill out an attestation detailing their reason for travel – that can be found HERE under red list countries.

Unvaccinated people must quarantine for ten days upon arrival in France. You must declare in advance the address where you will be staying via an online portal. Police officers can come and check the quarantine address and if you break the quarantine rules, you could receive a hefty fine.  

Under 12s – the rules on vaccination and testing refer to all travellers aged 12 and over. Under 12s do not need to provide proof of vaccination, provided they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult. They are also not required to test.

Once in France, under 12s can visit venues such as cafés and cinemas without a health pass, but all children aged 12 years and two months or older will need a pass to access health pass venues, even if they are attending with family. 

 

Member comments

    1. We returned to France (Dover-Calais) on the 5th January with LFT results from the drive-through test centre at Stansted the previous day. Our test results were accepted.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

France's roads watchdog has issued its first red travel warning of the summer.

Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

Schools in France have not yet broken up for les grandes vacances, but traffic is expected to be heavier than normal on the country’s arterial roads as some holidaymakers head off early.

France’s roads monitor Bison Futé has warned travellers to expect delays and heavy traffic across the country. It has issued an orange warning – it’s third-highest level – for the whole of the country apart from the Paris region of Île-de-France, which it has placed on red alert for traffic levels heading away from the capital for Friday.

Image: Bison Futé

In the Paris region, traffic will be heavy towards the toll gates of the A10 and A6 autoroutes, where the first slowdowns could be recorded from late morning. The ring road and the A86 and A6b freeways will also be affected by these difficulties.

In the middle of the afternoon, the combination of commuters heading home and holidaymakers escaping the city is forecast to make travel difficult until late in the evening. Bison Futé advises those who can do so to leave or cross the Île-de-France before 12 noon. 

Elsewhere, it is not recommended to leave the metropolises and their suburbs between 2pm and 7pm.

Bison Futé recommends avoiding travel on Friday, July 1st:

  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A63 between Bordeaux and Bayonne, from 4pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 11am to 8pm;
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 1pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Marseille and Orange, from 2pm to 8pm
  • the A8 between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus, from 2pm to 8pm; 
  • The A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 6am to 10pm;
  • The A8 between Italy and Fréjus, from 3pm to 7 pm;
  • the A43 between Lyon and Chambéry, from 5pm to 7pm.

On Saturday, July 2nd, Bison Futé recommends avoiding:

  • Travelling in or crossing the Ile-de-France after 8am;
  • Travel out of France’s major cities before 10am;
  • The A13  between Paris and Rouen, from 10am to 5pm; 
  • The A13 between Rouen and Caen from 10am to 1pm;
  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 9am to 3pm; 
  • The A6 between Beaune and Mâcon, from 8am to 12noon; 
  • the A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 10am to 6pm; 
  • the A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 9am to 8pm.

On Sunday, July 3rd:

  • Avoid the A7 between Lyon and Marseille, from 11am to 8pm.

Schools in France break up on Thursday, July 7th so traffic is also expected to be heavy next weekend. 

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