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UK-France travel: Can I stop overnight in France on way to quarantine?

France requires everyone entering the country to self-isolate for 10 days but what if you drive through country to get home and usually break journey overnight?

An image of the baggage reclaim hall of Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E

Everyone arriving in France from the UK must now complete a period of self-isolation in a single place Pic: Tommy Larey / Shutterstock

[Article updated on December 22 at 15:00]

I can't drive from the ferry terminal in Calais to my home near the Pyrenees without an overnight stop. How do I manage this in accordance with France’s new quarantine regulations?

France’s new rules for travellers arriving from the UK state that anyone entering the country must self-isolate for 10 days if they are over the age of 12.

The French consulate website states that: “The self-isolation period must be spent in a single place,” whose address must be declared on an online government platform in advance of travel. 

A spokesperson has confirmed to The Connexion that only one address can be provided and travellers cannot stay in another place as a stop-off while they travel to their quarantine address. 

Therefore, it will not be possible for you to travel to the Pyrenees with an overnight stop, and it may be necessary for you to book accommodation in or near Calais.

The self-isolation period can be spent in a place of your choosing, whether that be in a hotel, in your own property, or with family or friends. 

It should be noted that government spokesperson Gabriel Attal originally stated that the quarantine period would be seven days, and this time frame is still displayed on the UK government website. 

However, the French Interior Ministry and consulate websites both state that people should self-isolate for 10 days. The consulate has now confirmed to The Connexion that this is indeed the case.  

The quarantine period can be shortened if after 48 hours the person in question carries out a PCR or antigen test and returns a negative result. It is possible to break quarantine and go to a nearby pharmacy or test centre for this purpose. 

Read more: UK-France travel: how do I get new test to shorten quarantine period?

What about transiting through France towards another country? 

The only circumstances which allow travellers from the UK to arrive in France without needing to quarantine is if they are transiting to another country.

This may be via the international zone of an airport – provided that you stay in France for less than 24 hours. 

EU nationals and their spouse, partner and/or children may also travel through France to their country of residence after arriving from the UK without having to self-isolate, as long as they can provide evidence of their main residence. 

However, these travellers are not allowed to stop for the night within French territory either. 

Related stories 

New UK-France restrictions: No tourist visits and quarantine announced

Four Covid tests now for Christmas visit to UK family from France

Unfair, petty: Readers and travel firms react to UK-France visitor ban

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