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France lockdown: Can we book a ferry and drive to the port?

Short answer: Yes, but you will need to ensure you have the right paperwork. We explain

Reader question: Can we book a ferry and drive to a ferry port? What paperwork will be necessary for our drive through France?

Short answer: Yes, but some extra paperwork is advised.

As with all journeys or any time you leave the house, you will need to download/write out an attestation exemption form here (in French). There is an English version available and also an easy-read version with pictograms. There is also a digital version available via the TousAntiCovid smartphone app.

Travel is not totally banned under the lockdown, especially if you are trying to return home to your country of origin or permanent residence.

Borders with the EU area (including the UK, for now) are open during confinement, and travel out of France is still possible. All public transport is running so it should be possible to get to airports, train stations or ferry ports.

Anyone travelling will need to have proof of travel (plane, train or ferry ticket), plus an exemption certificate (attestation de déplacement). There is no option on the attestation that corresponds to “going to the airport or ferry port”, so it will be necessary to tick the most relevant box (eg. 'imperative family reason', for example).

You will also need to carry ID with you, as well as a photocopy of your ferry booking/other tickets.

It may also help to bring with you an attestation sur l’honneur, a sworn statement explaining the reasons for the journey, dated, and signed, with your address and date-of-birth. You could show this to police or gendarmes as further evidence of the reason for being out and about travelling.

You can find templates for attestations sur l’honneur here.

It could read something like this:

Je, soussigné/e, [first name, surname] demeurant [address, postal code, commune] atteste sur l'honneur que je voyage pour prendre un ferry que j'ai déjà réservé et confirmé [ferry company and time of booking] ce [day and date] , pour me rendre à [country if not France] parce que je [reason for travelling, e.g. I am returning home, visiting a sick relative etc].

You should then add your location, date, signature, and print your full name.

Note that travelling into France from the UK at the moment for holidays is not currently permitted, so if you are a resident returning to your home in France it would be advisable to have proof of your residency in France with you in case of any questions.

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France lockdown: The exemption forms you need

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