Covid-19: Travelling through France to UK

Reader question: We need to travel through France from Spain to the channel tunnel. Are B&B hotels open and are we allowed to leave the motorway for overnight stops? 

29 May 2020

It depends when you are travelling.

At present – and until at least June 15 - it is only permitted to travel through France for specific reasons such as work, returning to a main residence or country of origin.

To travel, you must have an international travel form available here and tick the reason why you are travelling. An English version of the document is also available on the website. 

People allowed to travel are:

- French nationals, accompanied by their spouse and children;

- European Union nationals and nationals from Andorra, United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland, having their primary residence in France or transiting through France to reach their country of origin or where they have their primary residence, accompanied by their spouse and children;

- Third country nationals having their primary residence in France, accompanied by their spouse and children;  

- Diplomatic mission staff, or international organisations staff working in headquarters or offices located in France, accompanied by their spouse and children;

- Cross-borders workers;

- Seasonal agricultural workers who are EU nationals or nationals from Andorra, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland, or third country nationals who have their primary residence in one of these countries;

- Posted workers who are European Union nationals whose mission cannot be delayed, and who are holders of a contract for the provision of services which specifies the length of the mission;

- Healthcare workers supporting the fight against Covid-19;

- Flight and cargo crews, or travelling as a passenger to their departure base;

- Foreign nationals ensuring the international carriage of goods;

- Foreign seamen ensuring the international carriage of goods or who work on fishing vessels;

- Individuals able to justify custody rights, visit or accommodation of a child;

- Individuals attending school, with an accompanying person (for minors);

- Individuals able to justify the visit for a dependent relative or of a child in a specialized medical institution.  

Since May 25, travellers must also complete and carry a sworn declaration saying that they do not have any symptoms of Covid-19. 

These documents must be used for any travel into France until further notice from the government.

A government helpline’s spokesperson said: “These documents will be needed until at least June 15, or until a decision is taken between European countries to open borders.”

A second attestation form if you travel more than 100km in France is needed until June 2. You can find the form here and must again tick the reason of your travel.

Travelling over 100km is only allowed for:

-  Journeys between the place of residence and the place(s) of exercise of the professional activity, and professional journeys which cannot be postponed;

- Journeys between the place of residence and the educational establishment carried out by a person attending school there or accompanying a person attending school and journeys necessary to attend examinations or competitions;

- Journeys for health consultations and specialised care that cannot be provided at a distance or near the home:

- Travel for compelling family reasons, for the assistance of vulnerable persons, for respite and support for disabled persons and for childcare;

- Journeys resulting from an obligation to report to the national police or gendarmerie services or to any other service or professional, imposed by the administrative police authority or the judicial authority;

- Travel resulting from a summons issued by an administrative court or judicial authority;

- Travel for the purpose of participating in missions of general interest at the request of the administrative authority and under the conditions specified by it;

- Travel connected with a move resulting from a change of residence and travel essential for the acquisition or rental of real estate that cannot be postponed. 

From June 2, this second form will not be necessary as the 100km limit will be lifted. 

Hotels, B&Bs, gîtes and campsites will be able to open to the public from June 2 in most of France. 

Hotels were not obliged to close before but could only be used for medical staff, people in isolation because of Covid-19, and long-term residents (some people have spent the confinement period in gîtes for example). 

From June 2, it will be possible to stop at a hotel for a night in all the green departments of France, which covers almost all the country except primarily the Ile-de-France region.

Read more: France tourism boost as travel rules eased

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