UK-France travel: Must I self-isolate in the first place I arrive to?
How the rules work for the voluntary seven-day self-isolation period for travellers who have to change trains
People coming to France from the UK do not need to give an essential reason for coming but are asked to voluntarily self-isolate Pic: Daria Shevtsova / Pexels
Update: The information laid out below is not currently applicable for those travelling from the UK to France and the rules have now changed. Since May 31, travel to France is now allowed for essential reasons only. This does not include travel for leisure or to visit second homes under new rules. A mandatory seven-day quarantine is also required.
Reader question: I am moving back to France (hopefully in late June or early July) via train from the UK. I need to go to Ribérac, and so I shall change trains in Paris. Can I name Ribérac as my destination entering France - or do I have to self-isolate in Paris? I can't afford to stay in a hotel there for a week!
France has no mandatory self-isolation period for people coming from the UK. A seven-day quarantine is recommended but is not lawfully required.
Nowhere in the rules outlined on the French government website does it state that people entering the country from the UK must quarantine at the first place they arrive at.
People coming to France from the UK do not need to give an essential reason for coming.
However, they must fill out a form declaring that:
- They have no symptoms of a Covid-19 infection
- They are not aware of having been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the 14 days prior to travel
- For travellers over 11 years of age only, that they accept that a virological screening test or biological examination for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 may be carried out on arrival in France
- That they agree to respect a voluntary isolation period of seven days after their arrival in metropolitan France and to carry out a biological virological screening test (PCR) at the end of this period, in the case of a traveller over the age of 11.
This suggests that our reader will have no problem self-isolating in Ribérac after their arrival in France.
The results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure must be presented to travel authorities before setting off for France.
There is a mandatory 10-day quarantine in place for travellers coming to France from countries such as Brazil, South Africa and India.
You should check the French government’s advice for travellers coming to the country before your trip, available here.