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France lockdown: Can we return home to UK from France?

Yes. If you are in your second home in France, are British nationals, and want to return home, you can. We explain

Reader question: We are in our second home in southwest France and want to travel to our main home in England in the next few weeks. We are British citizens with British passports.

Short answer: Yes.

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 banned under the lockdown, especially if you are trying to return home to your country of origin or permanent residence. You have the right to leave France to return home.

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.

You will need to fill out an exemption form (attestation de déplacement) and check the box, “Déplacements pour motif familial impérieux, pour l'assistance aux personnes vulnérables et précaires ou la garde d'enfants”.

Beside it, you should write something similar to: “Je retourne dans mon pays d'origine” (I am returning to my home country).

You will also need to carry ID with you, as well as a photocopy of your ferry booking/plane tickets etc, as if you are stopped, you may be asked to show these.

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

It should 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 Je retourne dans mon pays d'origine [I am returning to my home country].

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

What about coming back to our second home?

During lockdown, foreigners do not have the right to come on holiday or visit a second home in France, an operator at France’s Covid-19 hotline told The Connexion.

You should only come to France if you are a French national or are a resident and have a valid reason.

However, France’s borders with the European area (this includes the UK) will remain open, so whether a person would be stopped and checked while travelling is unclear.

Officially, you should not travel back.

Related stories

France second lockdown: What travel is allowed?

Lockdown in France and second homes

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