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TRAVEL NEWS

‘Gendarmes turned up at my house even after France’s UK travel ban was lifted’

France's strict restrictions on travel to and from the UK have now been lifted, and vaccinated arrivals from the UK are no longer required to quarantine - but it seems that some Gendarmes in France didn't get the message.

'Gendarmes turned up at my house even after France's UK travel ban was lifted'
A French police officer checks the enforcement of Covid rules. Illustration photo: Thomas Coex/AFP

For just over a month, travel between France and the UK was strictly limited, with most types of travel banned altogether and those who could make the journey subject to strict rules including a quarantine on arrival in France.

However last week came the happy announcement that most restrictions have now been lifted for fully vaccinated travellers.

Those who are vaccinated can travel to France for any reason and no longer have to quarantine on arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers still have to prove that their trip is essential and on arrival in France face a 10 day quarantine. This can be done at home but is enforced by visits from local gendarmes.

The rule change was announced on Thursday, January 13th, and the Prime Minister’s statement said that the new rules “will apply from this Friday morning for travel between the UK and France”.

But one vaccinated traveller who arrived into France on Saturday, January 15th, has described still being subjected to police checks at his home in Normandy.

He told The Local: “Despite the change in regulations regarding isolation requirement being stopped, I had police turn up to my very rural home in Normandy on Saturday, Sunday and again on Monday.

“I offered to show them a print-out from the government website, but was told the change in regulations isn’t official until the gendarmerie is ‘formally’ told.”

In the end the man, a French national, went and got a Covid test and showed that to police in order to end his quarantine after 48 hours – the rule under the old system.

The rule change was published in the Journal Officiel – the official register of all new French laws and decrees – on Friday, January 14th and has been officially in force since then.

Unvaccinated travellers still face a 10-day quarantine on arrival, and police officers can turn up at their quarantine address at any time to ensure that they are isolating properly.

Find the full rules on France-UK travel HERE.

Member comments

  1. TRAVELLED BACK TO FRANCE ON THE 8TH JANUARY. 3 POLICE OFFICERS VISITED MY HOME ON THE 10TH JANUARY. NEVER ASKED ME WHO I WAS I NEVER TOLD THEM. TOLD ME I NEED TO ISOLATE FOR 10 DAYS BUT I COULD GO OUT DAILY BETWEEN 10AM AND 12 NOON FOR PROVISIONS. WASTE OF 3 POLICEMAN. JUST NONSENSE. I NOT PLAYING THE GAME ANYMORE

  2. We arrived back in France late on the 15th January. On the 17th we had two gendarmes arrive. They told us we had to isolate until the 25th unless we got an antigen test and took the proof to the local gendarmerie. Although we tried to explain (my husband speaks good French) that the rules had changed they were adamant. Obviously the new changes are not filtering down to those that need to know.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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