New UK to France Covid travel rules: Forms and 13 essential reasons

People in the UK are only allowed into France for a limited number of reasons from today May 31

31 May 2021
A woman at an airport wearing a face mask

The 13 essential reasons for travelling to France from the UK are very limited and apply primarily to those who have the right to work and/or live in France Pic: Ranta Images / Shutterstock

People travelling to France from the UK must have an “essential reason” to visit, which does not include travel for leisure or to visit second homes under new rules starting today (May 31, 2021). 

The list of reasons also does not allow for travel for family reasons. 

The new rules were announced by the French government last week and come into effect today May 31. 

France’s government spokesman Gabriel Attal cited concerns over the spread of the Indian variant of Covid-19 in the UK as the reason for the new restrictions. 

The French government is also recommending a voluntary seven-day self-isolation period for anyone who does now enter France from the UK, and suggests everyone aged over 11 takes a PCR test at the end of this period. 

When this announcement was made last week, Mr Attal specifically stated that it would be an "obligatory" period of self-isolation. However the French government is now only recommending a voluntary quarantine. 

All the rules and forms needed to travel from the UK to France can be found on the government’s website at this link. 

What forms and tests are needed?

All travellers over 11 years old will need proof of a negative PCR or antigen Covid-19 test taken less than 48 hours before the time of departure from the UK. This proof must be presented to travel authorities.

All travellers must fill out and sign a document certifying:

  • That they have no symptoms of Covid-19
  • That they are not aware of having been in contact with anyone with Covid-19 in the 14 days preceding the trip
  • That they accept that they may randomly be asked to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival in France (this is only for travellers aged 11 years and older. There are two separate forms for under 11s and over 11s).
  • That they will respect a voluntary period of self-isolation lasting seven days after their arrival in France (at an address of their choice), and, for all over 11s, take a PCR Covid-19 test at the end of the seven-day period.

Both forms (for over and under 11s) can be found at this link under section 2.2 of the heading “déplacement vers/depuis le Royaume-Uni”.

All passengers will also have to complete a form stating their essential reason for travelling. This form can be found under section 2.1

What are the 13 essential reasons?

You can enter France from the UK if:

  1. You are a French national – your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children can come with you
  2. You are a European Union (or EEA/Swiss) national – including your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children – and you have your main residence in France; or you are transiting through France to your main residence in another EU country; or you are transiting through France the country of which you are a national.
  3. You are a non-EU national who holds a valid French or European long-stay visa or residency permit, who has his/her main residence in France
  4. You are a UK citizen who benefits from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, ie. having evidence such as a carte de séjour, an email attestation of applying for one, or other proof of residency in France before the end of 2020. This would also include close members of their family coming to live with them
  5. You are a non-EU national holding a long-stay visa issued via the family reunion procedure, or the family reunion of refugees procedure, or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons
  6. You are a foreign health or research professionals involved in the fight against Covid-19 and foreign health or research professionals recruited as associate trainees – your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children can come with you
  7. You are a holder of a passeport talent visa (for skilled workers) – your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children can come with you
  8. You are a Student enrolled on a 'French as a Foreign Language' course prior to enrolment in French higher education, or admitted to oral exams in French higher education institutions or registered on a French higher education course for the academic year 2021-2022. Or you are a Researcher coming at the invitation of a research laboratory or institute in which case your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children can come with you
  9. You work in the land, sea and air transport sector or transport service providers, including drivers of any vehicle carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those who are merely transiting
  10. You are a foreign national working in a diplomatic or consular post, or for an international organisation with headquarters or an office in France. Your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children can come with you
  11. You are transiting in France and remain in the airport/international zone for a maximum of 24 hours      
  12. You are a UK official working for the border police, or you are a customs officer
  13. You are Channel Tunnel staff (including operations, maintenance, security or cross-Channel facilities)

Read more:

France’s Covid advisors recommend careful watch on UK arrivals

UK tourists important but health is priority, says French travel boss

France's ban on UK visitors is 'coherent' says Covid expert

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