Recap: Key points to note on Covid vaccines for UK-France trips

 We explain the rules around travelling with mixed Covid vaccine doses, visiting France with children, using health passes in France and the UK and more

19 October 2021

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK to can enter France without many restrictions, but the rules are stricter for non-fully vaccinated travellers Pic: Perfect Wave / Shutterstock

Travel from the UK to France

Quarantine / test rules

The UK is on France’s amber travel list. This means that fully vaccinated travellers can enter France showing only:

  • proof of vaccination status
  • a completed ‘sworn statement’ (engagement sur l’honneur, available on the French government website) form self-certifying that you are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight

Non-fully vaccinated travellers must provide:

  • An essential reason for the trip, which usually involves having the right to live, work or study in France. A complete list can be found at this link, look for the PDF document titled “Liste des motifs impérieux - pays orange”.
  • Proof of a negative Covid test, either PCR or rapid antigen, taken within 24 hours of departure
  • a completed ‘sworn statement’ 
  • A written promise to agree to take a Covid test on arrival if asked by authorities
  • A written promise to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival in France

All the above-mentioned documents can be found on France's interior ministry’s website at this link. Click on the option: ‘DÉPLACEMENT VERS/DEPUIS UN PAYS DE LA ZONE ORANGE’

Travelling with children:

All minors, meaning those under the age of 18 are considered to have the same vaccination status as the accompanying adult.

France’s travel rules state:

“The measures applied to vaccinated adults extend under the same conditions to accompanying minors, whether or not they are vaccinated.”

However, all children aged 12 and over who are not fully vaccinated, whether the accompanying adult is or not, must still present proof of a negative Covid test taken 24 hours before departure.

No one under 12 needs proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. 

France’s health pass

UK vaccination certificates can be uploaded to France’s TousAntiCovid phone application. Travellers to France can then show their vaccination certificates through this app to enter public places, such as restaurants and museums that require a health pass (pass sanitaire).

Currently, everyone aged 12 and over is required to present a Covid health pass when entering the majority of public places in France, including restaurants, cafés, cinemas, museums, shops and theatres. This measure will remain in place until at least November 15. 

Non-vaccinated travellers can take a Covid test in France which can serve as a health pass and remains valid for 72 hours. 

You can read more about getting a Covid test in France in our article here. Scroll down to the section: ‘Where to get a Covid-19 test in France’

French health pass for children

There is a good chance that British children travelling to France will not yet be fully vaccinated. In this case, the easiest way for them to get a health pass to enter public places will be to take Covid tests every 72 hours, or as and when they need them to enter public places requiring a health pass. 

You can read more about this in the following articles:

Travel France: Are under 18s covered by parent's Covid vaccine status?

Can I visit France from UK with my son, 16, who has had one Covid jab?

Travel from France to the UK

Leaving France

If you are not fully vaccinated against Covid, you must give an essential reason for travelling there as the UK is on France’s amber list.

Being a UK national is considered to be an essential reason.

It should be noted that even if you are fully vaccinated against Covid, airlines may still ask you to provide an essential reason for travelling from France to the UK.

You can find a full list of essential reasons on the French government’s website here

Quarantine / test rules

If you are fully vaccinated, then before entering the UK (48 hours before your arrival), you must complete a form with your contacts, your home or other address where you will be staying, and your travel details. This procedure is carried out on the UK government’s website here.

You must also book and pay in advance for a Covid test to be taken within two days of your arrival in the UK. 

Read more: France-UK travel: Cheaper Covid ‘day two’ tests to begin October 24

Rules and systems are different for non-vaccinated travellers, and also can vary depending on where you are travelling in the UK. See specific rules for travelling from France to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales at these links. 

Mixed doses

The UK government says it now recognises people who have received two different Covid vaccine types as fully vaccinated in an update made on September 22. 

This applies to people who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and/or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), under a vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, the US or UK Overseas Territories.

Previously, the UK government stated that a person must have two doses of the same vaccine type in order to be recognised as fully vaccinated. This rule applied only to England, and was not included in the rules of Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. 

Read more: France-UK travel update: Mixed Covid vaccines are now recognised by UK

Maiden names

There is a continuing issue for certain non-French women in France whose ID or passport carries their married name, while their French Covid vaccination certificate has their maiden name on it, as is standard in French systems.

This issue has not yet been resolved. The Connexion has highlighted it to France’s health ministry on several occasions.

You can read our latest coverage of the issue at the following links:

French Covid pass maiden name issue continues to cause problems

‘French Covid certificate maiden name issue almost cost me my flight’

Reader tips over maiden names on French vaccine certificates

French vaccine certificates and contact tracing in the UK

Hundreds of vaccinated people travelling from France to the UK are being told to self-isolate in the UK due to being flagged as a Covid contact case after a flight.

Travellers who are vaccinated in the UK with the same vaccines and who were travelling on the same flights do not need to quarantine. 

This is catching many people by surprise as on August 16 the UK government exempted fully vaccinated people from the 10-day self-isolation requirement imposed on the close contacts of a confirmed coronavirus case. 

However, Covid isolation regulations for England state that a person is only seen as fully vaccinated for contact tracing purposes if their “course of doses was administered... in the United Kingdom.”

This excludes both British people and foreign nationals who have been vaccinated abroad. 

You can read more about it here: French vaccines and UK contact cases: ‘it’s absurd we must quarantine’ 

Covid passports

Both Scotland and Wales have set up a system similar to France’s Covid health pass, whereby people must show proof of their Covid status to enter certain public places and events. 

Both countries’ governments have confirmed to The Connexion that Covid vaccination certificates issued in France will be accepted under these schemes.

You can read more about that in the following articles:

French vaccine certificates compatible with Welsh Covid pass scheme

French vaccine certificates compatible with Scottish Covid pass scheme

Related articles:

What do we need to do to travel from France to the UK this Christmas?

No health pass needed for French ski lifts if Covid cases keep falling

UK-France flight bookings surge for ski season as Covid rules relaxed

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