France lockdown: Can we stop at hotel on drive back to UK?
People travelling from second homes back to their home country may wish to stop for a night
Reader question: We are at our second home in France but planning on driving back to the UK at the end of November. Our journey is too far to make non-stop so we usually stay overnight somewhere on the way, but hotels are not open in the south of England. Will we be able to stay overnight in Calais instead?
Short answer: Yes.
Hotels in France are permitted to remain open during the lockdown.
Hotel restaurants must close, but they are still allowed to provide room service.
Some hotels may have chosen to close, but others are still advertising rooms on platforms such as booking.com. It is worth double-checking with the hotel when booking.
Airbnb services are also continuing, as an alternative.
However, a spokeswoman for France’s Covid-19 helpline strongly recommended people do not travel during the lockdown, except for urgent reasons.
If you do need to travel, you should fill out an exemption certificate (attestation de déplacement) and tick the box that best applies to you. For example, if you are travelling for urgent family reasons, tick the fourth box: Déplacements pour motif familial impérieux, pour l'assistance aux personnes vulnérables et précaires ou la garde d'enfants.
If you are travelling for health reasons, tick the third box: Consultations, examens et soins ne pouvant être assurés à distance et l’achat de médicaments.
Beside it, you should write something similar to: “Je retourne dans mon pays d'origine” (I am returning to my home country).
You will also need to carry ID with you, as well as a photocopy of your ferry booking/plane tickets etc, as if you are stopped, you may be asked to show these.
You may also need an attestation sur l’honneur, a sworn statement explaining the reasons for the journey, dated, and signed, with your address and date-of-birth. You can find an example of these here.
It will also be best to carry proof for why you are travelling if you have it. For example, a doctor’s note, a work contract, etc, the spokeswoman for the Covid helpline said.