Structural issues with French second home: can we visit from UK?

France’s current travel restrictions effectively bar people from entering the country from the UK unless they have an essential reason for travel

6 January 2022

France’s list of essential reasons for travel from the UK do not currently allow for visits to second homes to carry out emergency repairs Pic: forestpath / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

There is a structural building problem with our second home in France and it needs urgent attention - will we be allowed to travel out to it from the UK? We are vaccinated.

France’s current Covid restrictions – in force since December 18 – only allow people to enter the country from the UK if the purpose of their journey fits into an exhaustive list of compelling reasons for travel. This list is basically restricted to people living in France or French nationals.

This applies regardless of whether the person in question is vaccinated or not.

Read more: The 22 essential reasons for travel between UK and France

However government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced yesterday (January 5) that the essential reasons would be extended, particularly in terms of travel for professional reasons, in the coming days. Further details of the new list have not yet been published. 

Read more: Essential reasons list for visiting France from UK to be extended

Currently the list allows for people who are French nationals, residents, visa holders and exchange students but not those who wish to travel for a general family visit or to visit a second home. 

People are allowed to travel from France to the UK on compassionate grounds in order to visit a dying relative, for example, but the same does not apply for UK travellers to France, who face stricter entry requirements. 

Read more: Heartbreak for Britons kept out by Covid rules

Property-related reasons such as emergency repairs, maintenance work or visits following an event such as a burglary are not mentioned. 

The French consulate in the UK states that: “Authorizations may be issued in exceptional circumstances (humanitarian cases, journeys for urgent economic reasons etc.).”

It does not, however, offer details on the nature of such “urgent economic reasons.” 

The Connexion contacted the consulate for clarification and to determine whether emergencies at a second home could be considered an exceptional circumstance and travel allowed.

A spokesperson said that requests for laisser passer authorisation are considered on a case by case basis so could not give any indication on whether travel for house repairs would be accepted.

If you believe that your reason for travel could be classed as essential, you can appeal to the consulate for an exemption at visas.londres-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr

You can read more about France’s travel restrictions on the Interior Ministry website. 

Related stories 

Travel rule change: Can close family in UK visit relatives in France?

France to UK travel also needs essential reason

UK to France travel: How do police checks and quarantine work?

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