UK-France border closure: Can second home owners come?
France has now partially lifted its ban on travellers from the UK, but British people with holiday homes in France remain unable to enter
The French government has re-opened its borders with the UK for certain individuals, including French nationals and lorry drivers transporting goods, following a temporary travel ban over fears of a new strain of Covid-19 circulating in the UK that is thought to be more contagious.
The relaxation on restrictions came into effect from midnight Tuesday, December 22.
The list of exceptions does not include UK citizens with second homes in France or British citizens or other non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK wishing to travel to France for a holiday.
Only French nationals or other EU residents or their partners and children, plus others who must enter the country for essential reasons, are able to enter France from the UK. They will all need to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure to transport companies.
These restrictions will remain in place until January 6, when they will be reviewed.
However, regardless of whether the rules are changed or not, British citizens or other non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK will remain banned from entering France for longer due to EU travel restrictions related to Covid-19.
The Brexit transition period, which sees the UK remain a member of the single market and customs union despite it no longer being a member of the EU, will end on December 31, meaning the UK will then be considered an “external country”.
The UK is not on the EU’s final updated list of external countries exempt from strict Covid-19 EU entry rules.
The list 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 both French and residents of France.