When can we travel UK to France? Latest information

As budget airline EasyJet announces plans to restart flights between the UK and France from June 15, we look at the current official rules on UK-France travel, which have not yet changed.

21 May 2020
EasyJet has announced plans to resume flights from UK to France from June 15, but official travel advice has not yet changed
By Connexion journalist

EasyJet today (Thursday May 21) announced that it is aiming to restart flights between London Gatwick to Nice from June 15. This will be its only UK-France service.

It also said that it would operate domestic flights within the UK and France. 

In the UK, airports operating flights will comprise London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Belfast, and the Isle of Man.

In France, airports operating will be Nice, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon and Lille (as well as Geneva in Switzerland).

CEO Johan Lundgren said: “These are small and carefully planned steps.” 

He explained that more routes would be confirmed in the coming weeks, “as customer demand increases and lockdown measures across Europe are relaxed”.

EasyJet said that it would use "enhanced cleaning and disinfection" on its planes, and that no food would be served on board.

Passengers will be given hand sanitiser gel and disinfectant wipes to keep spaces as clean as possible, it said.

Mr Lundgren said: "These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely, as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The company said its rules were drawn up in consultation with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This week, the EASA announced a series of new rules for airlines as they begin to fly again.

These include the wearing of face masks, washing hands often, and staying 1.5 metres apart from other people as much as possible, especially at airports, even if this may not be possible on board the planes themselves.

Read more: When will flights resume in France?
Read more: France will not force social distancing on airlines

  

Travel to resume?

It is expected that flights will be able to resume by June in France and within Europe from July.

On May 18, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommended this timetable - although this still needs governmental approval to be rolled out.

IATA President Alexandre de Juniac said: “Normally, if the governments we are in discussion with follow our recommendations, people should be able to travel to within France from June, then within Europe in July-August, with reduced traffic and a slightly more limited number of destinations.”

However, the IATA recommended the passengers be subject to a health screening process at airports before flying, including temperature checks, and even being required to present a health declaration at the terminal.

Passengers may also be asked to travel with only one piece of cabin luggage, to avoid congestion during boarding.

No official advice change…yet

But, despite these announcements from EasyJet and IATA, official advice for travellers between the UK and France has not yet changed.

France is still only allowing people into the country from other EU countries / the UK for specific reasons related to professional work, or to return to your main residence (and not a second home).

At the time of writing, the Consulate General of France in London (UK) website says: “Travel to France is permitted only when strictly necessary.”

It also explains: “People entering French territory from the European Union, the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom” will not be required to quarantine, “with practical details soon to be specified”.

Anyone travelling to France from abroad is still required to show an official declaration for international travel, in paper or digital format.

Read more: Covid-19: Can we travel to our second home in France?

EU nationals travelling to France: Who are allowed?

  • Those who have their main residence in France, and their spouses and children;
  • Those in transit through France to their residence, and their spouses and children;
  • Healthcare professionals for the purposes of fighting Covid-19;
  • Transporters of goods, including sailors;
  • Crews and personnel operating passenger and cargo flights, or travelling as passengers to reach their departure base;
  • Personnel of diplomatic and consular missions, as well as international organisations headquartered or having an office in France, holding a special residence permit or a visa D “carte promae”;
  • Cross-border workers at internal land borders;
  • French citizens, their spouses and children.

Anyone coming into France currently may be required to show documents proving their main residence in France; their status as a health professional, cross-border worker, or goods transporter.

It is expected that the current rules are likely to change before June 15, with advice updated regularly as the situation shifts.

So far, the Consulate General of France in London (UK) has said: “The Consulate endeavours to update this information regularly; however, train and ferry services and flights are subject to change and cancellation at any time, especially if you don’t have a booking.

“In these circumstances, we ask you to contact transport operators as soon as possible to make a booking and check your travel before setting off.”

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