I am British living in France. Can I go to UK to see family?

Tighter travel restrictions for entering the UK will come into force from February 15

11 February 2021
By Connexion journalist

Reader question: I’m British but I am a resident in France. I want to return to the UK to see family. How am I affected by the new rules there?

There are forms and rules for exiting France, entering the UK and then re-entering France. 

The rules also vary depending on where in the UK you are going, ie. England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

Rules on entering the UK have been recently tightened and heavier repercussions for breaking rules introduced.

We explain what you need to do to travel to the UK from France at the moment. 

Leaving France

In order to leave France to go to a country outside of the European area (EU countries plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland et Vatican City), you must fill out a certificate called an attestation de déplacement under the heading: Vous souhaitez sortir du territoire national français.

You need to state an imperative cause for leaving, which could be a family, health or professional reason or because you are returning to your home country or country of residence. 

Entering England and Wales

  • To enter England and Wales from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to three days before departure. This applies to everyone coming from outside the Common Travel Area.
  • You must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border. You can complete it up to 48 hours before you enter the UK and should do so before arrival
  • All passengers entering England and Wales must then self-isolate at the place they are staying for 10 days after they arrive. The government has increased spot checks to make sure people are self-isolating and anyone caught breaking the rules may be referred for the police and fined up to £10,000 
  • From February 15, all arrivals to England and Wales will be required to undertake two mandatory Covid-19 tests – on day two and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine.
  • Anyone who has been in a red-listed country in the past 10 days will be denied entry to the UK unless they have a residency right

Entering Northern Ireland and Scotland

The devolved governments of Northern Ireland and Scotland have separate, but similar, rules in place. You can read the government of Northern Ireland’s advice here and the government of Scotland’s advice here.

The rules requiring passengers to take Covid-19 tests before arriving and to fill out passenger locator forms are the same. 

On entering Northern Ireland, though, all arrivals must undergo a full 10-day quarantine, with no option to take a Covid-19 test in order to end the quarantine early. 

In Scotland, from February 15, everyone travelling to the country must book and pay for a “managed isolation in a quarantine hotel” for at least 10 days from arrival. This applies to everyone going to the country from outside the CTA, including British citizens.

Re-entering France

Anyone who is a resident in France has the right to return to France from the UK. 

To do this, you will need to have:

  • 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 to take an antigenic test or possibly undergo screening upon arrival
  • A sworn statement to self-isolate for seven days, if necessary, in one of the facilities designated by the French authorities, along with a sworn statement 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

You will also have to fill out an attestation de déplacement for entering the country, see here under the heading: Attestation d’entrée sur le territoire métropolitain pour les ressortissants des pays extérieurs à l'espace européen.

Read more:

Brexit delays and price rises on British food in France

Marks & Spencer closes Paris store but denies Brexit link

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