LATEST: France scraps 24-hour test requirement for UK arrivals

France has updated its travel rules, meaning that fully vaccinated arrivals from the UK are no longer required to present a negative Covid test taken in the 24 hours prior to arrival, but can instead use a test taken within 48 hours of departure time.

LATEST: France scraps 24-hour test requirement for UK arrivals
Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP

The test requirement of 48 hours makes it a more practical proposition for many travellers who told us they had struggled to find reasonably-priced tests in the UK that gave results in the required time-frame. 

The change comes into effect immediately and was announced by Alexandre Holroyd, the French MP who represents French people living in the UK and who says he will continue to campaign on travel restrictions.

The test – which is required for all arrivals from the UK whether they are vaccinated or not – can be either a PCR or antigen test, but many types of home test are not accepted.

READ ALSO Can I use a Lateral Flow Test to enter France?

The new rule means that UK travel rules are now the same as many other non-EU countries including the USA, Canada and Australia.

Unvaccinated travellers can only enter France if they fit one of the strict criteria for essential travel, which rules out tourism, family visits and visits from second-home owners. Unvaccinated travellers who do fit the criteria will still need a negative Covid test taken within the previous 24 hours. You can find the full criteria HERE

Fully vaccinated travellers can travel for any reason and at the border need to show only proof of vaccination, a negative Covis test taken no more than 48 hours before departure time and a completed travel declaration. Once in France, there is no requirement to quarantine or take extra tests.

If you’re travelling in the other direction, the UK still requires a post-arrival Day 2 test, but this requirement will be lifted for fully vaccinated travellers on February 11th.

Read the full rules HERE.

Visitors to France are reminded that they will need a vaccine pass in order to access many everyday venues including bars, cafés, ski lifts, restaurants, cinemas, tourist sites, gyms, leisure centres and long-distance trains.

Booster shots are not required to enter France, but may be needed in order to access the vaccine pass – full details HERE.

Member comments

  1. Excellent news! This was the one thing I was concerned about regarding my trip to the UK, in a couple of weeks.

  2. It would be far more preferable if France did away with it altogether, just as the UK has from next week.
    It seems to me, being cynical, that it’s only about encouraging half term tourism.

  3. At some point France is going to have to consider more carrot and less stick, like for example, doing away with tests for triple-vaccinated travellers altogether. And most people are aware that positive results often take 3 days or more to manifest themselves. 48 hours is slightly less stupid then than 24, but only just.

  4. Good news, although would be even better if dropped altogether. UK no longer posing a high risk and many more cases here in France already.

    1. I am an old man and have been living in France for about 15 months. I have been fully vaccinated and am happy to display my pas sanitaire whenever asked. I am happy to wear a masque whenever required to do so. I have copped a dose of Covid and thanks to the protection given by my vaccinations I have come through unscathed. Thanks to readily available kits auto test I was able to self isolâte until I self tested negative. The people of my town continue to wear masques and respect the virus even when not obliged to do so. It is not opression, but a mark of respect to your fellow citizens. I feel safe here, or as safe as can be in the circumstances.
      I plan to visit the UK in March to catch up with friends and relatives and, having seen the way Brits are behaving, I am frankly scared. So keep the border controls.

  5. It’s a step in the right direction but since there are UK companies who do an at-home certified test compliant with French rules for £19 with an hour turnaround for the certificate being emailed back I’m not sure it makes a lot of practical difference yet unless you live somewhere without internet or a nearby walk-in. The only benefit I can see from the longer window is there is time to do something about it if something goes wrong. But hopefully this is just a step towards removing the requirement altogether, which as others note no longer seems to serve any purpose.

  6. The prevalence of Covid is far higher in France than the UK. So no tests should be required on entering France if you are fully jabbed. it’s illogical to do otherwise.

    1. Analysis, synthesis, evaluation. That is the process of logical thinking. Your post does not meet the standard.

  7. So does this mean that if I go for a day trip to the UK, I can use a test from France taken the day before? Because it’s much easier and cheaper to get one here!

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‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Europe's airports chief told passengers to leave time for delays this summer as the air travel industry struggles to meet surging demand after the pandemic.

'Arrive early': Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

“The clear conjunction of a much quicker recovery with a very tight labour market is creating a lot of problems,” Olivier Jankovec, head of the Europe branch of the Airports Council International (ACI), told AFP.

He said there were issues from airports to airlines, ground handlers, police and border controls, but insisted: “The system still works”.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

“It’s important for passengers that they communicate with the airlines in terms of when they should get to the airport, and prepare to come earlier than usual to make sure to have the time to go through, especially if they have to check luggage,” he said.

Strikes by low-cost pilots and cabin crew across Europe – including this weekend – are adding to the disruption.

Speaking at the ACI Europe annual congress in Rome, Jankovec said airports had taken measures to improve the situation, which would come into effect from mid-July.

“Additional staff will be coming in July, the reconfiguration of some of the facilities and infrastructure to facilitate the flows will also come into effect in July,” he said.

“I think it will be tight, there will be some disruptions, there will be longer waiting times.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

“But I think that in the vast majority of airports, the traffic will go, people will not miss their planes, and hopefully everybody will be able to reach their destination as planned.”

He also defended increases in airport charges, after criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines.

Airports face “the same difficulties and inflationary pressures” as airlines, which he noted were putting their fares up, he said.

“Staff and energy is 45 percent of our operating costs, and of course inflation is also driving up the cost of materials,” he said.