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Update: France to UK travel also needs essential reason from Saturday

French government website now shows a list of accepted reasons for travel in both directions. Britons living in France can still visit UK

New restrictions start on Saturday for travel to the UK Pic: shutterstock.com / phoelixDE

From Saturday December 18 people will not be permitted to travel from France to the UK without an essential reason, vaccinated or not, says the French government.

However one of the essential reasons given is foreign nationals going to their country, so this means Christmas family trips for Britons in France going to the UK are allowed.

The tough measure was announced this afternoon on the same day it was revealed that, also from Saturday, people will not be able to come into France from the UK without essential reasons, vaccinated or not (having residency in France is one of the key reasons).

Read more: New UK-France restrictions 

A list of essential reasons specific to the UK has now been published on a PDF on this website, and includes (different) reasons for both directions.

In an update at the top of the same page, the ministry states: “Faced with the extremely rapid spread of the omicron variant in the UK, the French government has made the choice to reinstate essential reasons.

“Thus, from Saturday at 00:00 the following rules apply for travel between the UK and France:

Obligation to have an essential reason for going to or coming from the UK, for unvaccinated and vaccinated people alike…”

The page states that “these essential reasons will, however, not apply to French nationals as well as their partner and children who will still be able to come to France”. (It does not say if they can go to the UK.)

The essential rules for going to the UK are even stricter than the list applicable to unvaccinated people in France going to other orange-listed countries (who also need an essential reason).

For example, the latter include important business and professional sporting trips; these are excluded from the UK list.

Permitted reasons for travelling to the UK include:

  • Foreign nationals going to the country of their nationality
  • Death of a direct line family member (parent, grandparent, child…) or a brother or sister
  • To visit such a person if they are close to death
  • For child custody reasons linked to a judgement
  • A judicial summons
  • Impossibility of staying in France due to eg. residency right expiring or lack of funds due to being dismissed from a job
  • University exchanges
  • Urgent medical reasons
  • Medical personnel fighting Covid
  • Those in certain sectors such as diplomats, British civil servants and transport workers

Previous articles

French residents advised against travel to UK 

What counts as ‘essential reasons’ for UK to France travel from Saturday? 

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