Do I have to quarantine if I go to France?

If you are travelling from the UK by ferry, air, train or car transport to mainland France, you are invited by the French government to go into voluntary quarantine. There will be no checks or fines if you don't. 

15 June 2020
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The voluntary quarantine applies to all nationalities, including French citizens and is a reciprocity measure as the UK has imposed obligatory quarantine on all people arriving in the UK, including from France.

This includes Britons returning from a holiday or a visit to a second home in France. The UK is to review its policy on June 28. 

France is expected to continue inviting voluntary quarantine as long as the UK continues to impose a quarantine of travellers from France.

People arriving by plane from Spain into France are also invited to take voluntary quarantine as Spain is imposing a quarantine on air travellers from France to Spain. Other travel means from Spain are not affected.

The 14-day quarantine is voluntary but becomes obligatory if you show symptoms of Covid-19 during health checks at an airport or if you are going to France’s overseas territories. 

What does voluntary quarantine mean?

The  government says everyone should use their “sense of responsibility.”

There will not be any checks or fines contrary to the UK obligatory quarantine which obliges anyone coming to the UK to pre-fill a form to give details on the place of isolation and contact details, and where checks and fines can be issued by the police.

The voluntary quarantine in France can be at the place of your choice; your home, a specific accommodation or at a hotel which has been requisitioned by the government for people in isolation. This option will be offered to you on arrival if you wish to self-isolate.

A government helpline worker told Connexion: “The voluntary quarantine does not mean that people cannot go out for 14 days. They should just avoid outings as much as possible, and respect social distancing and safety guidelines.”

You will be able to go for a walk or food shopping but you should not meet with other people. It is not recommended to isolate with other people such as friends or family unless they were in the same household as you before arrival.

The worker also said people can decide for themselves whether to do this and should not feel obliged.

Can I stay at a hotel in France?

Yes, the voluntary quarantine invitation has no effect on this and people arriving from the UK and travelling on will be accepted at hotels. 

Is everyone asked to carry out this voluntary quarantine? 

No, some travellers are not affected. This includes those in transit to another country; crew members and people operating passenger and cargo flights, or travelling as a passenger to reach their departure point; those engaged in the international carriage of goods; drivers and crew members of coaches and trains; frontier workers; and seasonal workers.

What about travelling to France from another EU member state?

If you are travelling to France from many other European states, such as Belgium, Austria, or Italy, voluntary quarantine is not needed. However, if you are coming from countries outside the EU, voluntary quarantine is again recommended. Borders to countries outside the EU are due to open gradually from July 1.

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