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Here are France's two new extra essential reasons for travel from UK

The government has relaxed the rules slightly for work-related travel and, seemingly, for transit through France

France has made some minor adjustments to its list of essential reasons for travel from the UK Pic: Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock

People will now be allowed to travel to France from the UK for certain urgent work trips under a slightly expanded list of the country’s essential reasons for travel. 

The list, which was published this afternoon (January 6), retains all of the pressing grounds for travel which were included in the initial rules imposed on December 18, but also allows for: “necessary trips related to an economic activity which requires one’s physical presence and which cannot be postponed.”

This applies both to UK-France and France-UK travel. An attestation from your employer is needed to justify the need for the trip.

A subtle change has also been made to the section of the previous list of pressing grounds for travel that mentioned “Third country nationals holding a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, whose principal residence is in France.”

Now, in addition to those “whose principal residence is in France,” third country nationals with the required residency permits may also enter the country to “return to their principal residence in a European Union country or equivalent by transiting through France.” 

Logically, this would include Britons who live in other countries and have Withdrawal Agreement residency cards, as Britons are now third country citizens. This is a term used by the EU, for those who are not EU, EEA or Swiss citizens.

However a separate section which refers to 'Britons and their families who are beneficiaires of the Withdrawal Agreement', which will include some people who do not have cards, has not been updated to clarify whether it includes the transit rule. Notably, some EU countries (unlike France) decided not to require Britons living there before 2021 to apply for an obligatory card. 

The French government stated last month that this section was only intended to apply to people living in France, but then went on to offer a temporary 'tolerance' period for Britons who needed to transit through France to get home to other EU countries after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Read more: Britons residents in EU countries can now transit through France

The Connexion has contacted the French consulate for confirmation that all Withdrawal Agreement Britons may now transit through France without their main residence needing to be in the country. 

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal stated yesterday (January 5) that: "We have decided that at the next Conseil de défense sanitaire meeting we will consider whether we can entirely remove the restrictions put in place at the border with the UK.”

You can read more about France’s essential reasons for travel on the Interior Ministry website. 

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