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.
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⚠️ #frontières | Nous assouplissons les conditions d’entrée en 🇫🇷 depuis le 🇬🇧 pour les voyageurs vaccinés.
➡️fin des motifs impérieux et de l’isolement à l’arrivée
➡️un test négatif <24h sera demandé au départ
Le décret sera publié demain matin, avec entrée en vigueur immédiate pic.twitter.com/cthQc0D6qP
— Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (@JBLemoyne) January 13, 2022
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.
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.