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Can I bypass France’s ban on travel from UK for a family emergency?

France is currently not allowing people in the UK to enter unless they have an “essential reason”, of which a family emergency is not one. However, there could be an exception to this. We explain

Holding hands in an emergency

The French consulate in London may be able to assist people in the UK who need to enter France for very serious and urgent family or health emergencies Pic: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Reader question: I am a UK citizen living in the UK and my elderly mother lives alone in France. Should she need urgent help, would I be able to enter France? The “essential reasons” do not cover family emergencies.

France introduced strict rules on May 31 prohibiting people in the UK from entering the country unless they could provide an essential reason for their trip.

There are 13 essential reasons and it is correct that family or health reasons are not included.

New UK to France Covid travel rules: Forms and 13 essential reasons 

However, the British Embassy in Paris has confirmed to The Connexion that “in exceptional circumstances”, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for an essential reason not listed on the International Travel Certificate.

The French consulate in London can be contacted on +44 (0) 20 7073 1000 or via email at

The Connexion has tried several times to contact the consulate this week on that number but has been unable to reach them. 

The British Embassy in Paris did not state which reasons would be considered as exceptional circumstances but it is understood to be very serious and urgent family or health emergencies.

France announced today (June 4) a new set of travel rules that are set to come into effect from June 9. Under these rules, fully vaccinated people in the UK will be allowed to enter France from that date if they take a PCR test within 72 hours of travelling. Non-vaccinated people will still be restricted from entering without an essential reason. 

It has not been clarified how this new set of rules will affect the current travel restrictions in place between the UK and France. 

Read more:

Covid: US and UK on France's amber travel list from June 9

France remains on UK’s amber travel list in new update

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