No exemption on EU Covid travel restrictions for UK

The EU has issued its final list this year of non-EU countries from which visitors may come in because Covid is well-controlled.

17 December 2020
By Liv Rowland

The UK is not on the EU’s final updated list before 2021 of ‘external’ countries exempt from strict Covid-19 EU entry rules.

The list, just published, confirms that it is highly unlikely that holiday or leisure visits from the UK – including to second homes – will be allowed to France or other EU countries next year until the EU judges that the pandemic is coming to an end or the UK has few new cases over a 14-day period.

It means also that a negative Covid-19 test will be needed in the previous 72 hours on entering France from the UK (if agreed by France, testing in the airport could also be allowed) and that those who can enter will need to bring an attestation de déplacement internationale. The latter will include, notably, both French and residents of France.

The list published on the website of the Council of the European Union is unchanged from a previous one published in October. The UK is affected because of Brexit. EU sources confirmed to The Connexion that the UK will be considered ‘external’ to the European area with regard to the travel restrictions once ‘full Brexit’ applies from January 1 and that today's update was the last chance before January for the country to be included on the exemption list.

The list only includes a small number of countries with extremely low rates of new cases of Covid-19: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Individual EU countries such as France must take account of the EU’s recommendations in establishing their own lists but should not add any new countries, the EU's guidelines say. France’s current exemption list does not include any country not listed by the EU.

We have asked the Interior Ministry if France will be reviewing its own list in coming days and to confirm new restrictions for the UK.

However the UK is still very far from meeting the criteria set out for inclusion on the EU list. 

Previous articles

Brexit: Covid rules set to ban UK visitors from France 

Covid: Will UK-France travel be restricted from January?

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