Everything you need to know about France’s new rules for UK travellers
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With France once again open to British travellers, there are also new variations on the rules and requirements to enter. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Brits have been on a break from French holidays since last December, when, France, keen to avoid an omicron outbreak of COVID-19 across the channel, banned all but urgent travel for U.K. residents.
Showing no mercí to those arriving at the Eurostar and beyond, it was a move that had big repercussions for the U.K. travel sector and also France’s domestic skiing industry, thousands of Brits forced to cancel their winter breaks entirely.
“Unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered third-country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU,” Eurotunnel said in a tweet at the time.
However, some 28 days later (admittedly not a phrase you want to hear during a pandemic), it is once again possible for British travellers to travel to France with relative freedom. But just what do you need to know? We’ve compiled some handy FAQs, below.
Do I still need to show a negative COVID-19 test before travel?
France still requires all passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 24 hours before their arrival. This should be from a private test provider and not an NHS test, however, a lateral flow result will be accepted and you don’t need to splash out on a pricier PCR test.
Do I have to show proof of vaccination to enter France?
Yes. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, all British travellers into France are required to provide proof of full vaccination. To meet French government guidelines this means being double-jabbed with Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, or a single dose of any of the aforementioned vaccines for those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19.
France will accept the U.K.’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record at the border.
How do I show my vaccination status to authorities?
Download the TousAntiCovid app. A smartphone platform with instructions in English, it allows travellers from the U.K. to easily upload the QR codes they’ve received from the NHS.
Essentially France’s answer to Italy’s Green Pass (it’s known as Pass Vaccinal), many businesses will require you to show a QR code. As well as the Border version, you’ll need an Activity Version to get access to restaurants and museums.
Reportedly from 17 January, the app will only apply to people who have been vaccinated and will no longer accept negative test results or proof of recovery in place of a vaccination record.
Do I have to fill in any forms?
There are two forms you will need to fill in to travel to France. Firstly, a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying you’re not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight, which you can find here on the French government’s website.
And then there’s a passenger arrival form, which will ask for your location while in the country and a few more details about yourself.
Will I need to quarantine if fully vaccinated?
Quarantine is no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers from the U.K.
Can unvaccinated travellers enter France?
Travellers without COVID-19 vaccinations are permitted to travel only for “compelling reasons” and will need to self-isolate on arrival to France for 10 days, subject to police checks.
They must complete an international travel form to prove the reason for essential travel. This can be found on the French government’s website. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for a compelling reason not listed as an ‘essential reason for travel’.
Additionally, they will also need to complete the ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form on the French government’s website.
What if I’m only driving through France to reach another country?
These rules will still apply even if your final destination is another country outside of France.
Are travel operators running back at full capacity?
Not yet. Many airlines are still playing catchup from the original travel ban when they were forced to either cancel or run reduced services.
Jet2 has said its ski flights to France will begin again on 22 January, while Eurostar trains will be looking to increase services as demand hots up from now into February. Skiline were among a host of British tour operators that began to put French ski holidays back on sale from this weekend before the reopening was officially announced.
What are the test requirements for my return to the U.K.?
You no longer need to take a pre-departure test before flying back to the U.K., however, you will be required to book a Day Two test, to be taken on or before your second day back in the country. This can be a lateral flow test and will need to be booked with a private test provider approved by the U.K. government.
Featured image by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty
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