France eases Covid rules for UK and other non-EU travel

From March 12, travellers going between France and the UK will not need to provide an essential reason for their journey

11 March 2021
By Connexion journalist

From tomorrow it will no longer be necessary for travellers going between France and seven non-EU countries, including the UK, to provide an essential reason (motif) for their journey.

This will apply to travel to and from France and the UK, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.

This is due to “the widespread propagation of the UK variant of Covid-19 in France and the specific health situations in these countries”, the Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires Étrangères stated in a press release published today

“For travel to and from these countries, other restrictions on movement remain in force: the presentation of a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before departure, in particular, remains necessary,” the statement reads.

Travellers are recommended to check the latest government advice before leaving or entering France. 

Previously, it was necessary for all travellers between France and any of these countries to fill out an international travel certificate (attestation de déplacement international) justifying the reason for their journey. 

What about British second-home owners?

It is not currently permitted for people living in the UK to travel abroad for holidays, so this change will not mean second-home owners wishing to visit a French holiday home will be able to do so yet. Find out more here

It is thought people living in England may be able to take foreign holidays from May 17.

Entering the UK from France

It will be necessary to have the results of a negative PCR test, taken at most 72 hours before departure, before travelling from France to the UK.

Some parts of the UK have introduced a system of mandatory quarantines in government  specified hotels for some incoming travellers but rules in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales vary.

For travel to England, only people coming from “red zone” countries - this does not include France - must quarantine in one of the specially designated hotels. All others must self-isolate at their chosen location for up to 10 days so this is the case for people coming from France.

You can read more about travelling between the UK and France here

Re-entering France from the UK

As mentioned above, UK residents are currently restricted from travelling abroad apart from in limited circumstances, however the UK states that it is acceptable for those visiting from elsewhere to travel home.

In the case of visiting the UK from France, you should bring with you evidence of being a French resident, as it may be required on leaving the UK and you should show it on entering France so as not to have your passport stamped as a visitor. This could include a new 'Withdrawal Agreement' residency card, an attestation of having applied for one, or otherwise other evidence such as an EU citizen's residency card or recent utility bills.

Anyone travelling back to France from the UK will also need to provide the following (click here for documents):

  • A sworn statement certifying the absence of Covid-19 symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19
  • A sworn statement of willingness to undergo further testing on arrival if asked to do so
  • A sworn statement of willingness to voluntarily self-isolate for seven days and, if aged 11 or more, to undergo a virology screening (PCR) test at the end of the isolation period
  • For those aged 11 years and above, a virology screening test (PCR) carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, showing no Covid-19 contamination

Additional essential reasons for travel between France and other non-EU countries

The list of essential and personal reasons for travelling to all other countries outside of the EU is also being expanded to include certain family circumstances.

The following will all now be considered essential reasons for travelling:

  • Married and civil union (Pacsed) couples where one of the members is living abroad for professional reasons can now travel to see each other
  • Children attending school in France while the family home is established abroad can now travel
  • Separated couples with children, with one parent living in France and the other abroad, can now travel to meet each other

The international travel certificates (attestations de déplacement international) will be updated accordingly. 

There are different travel certificates depending on your situation. You can find all of them here

Read more:

How to get a Covid-19 test in the UK and France

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