Coronavirus: Can UK friends stay with me at my holiday home?

I will be coming to my holiday home in France from the UK in mid July. Can I have friends (also from the UK) to stay for three days? If so, what are the restrictions?

30 June 2020
By Connexion journalist

The UK was due to review its 14-day coronavirus quarantine rules for visitors on Monday, June 29, but no official announcement has yet been made as to when current rules will be relaxed.

Contacted by Connexion, the Ministry of Transport said that a list of countries with which the UK will have 'travel corridors' will be published this week. France is expected to be included on this list.

That announcement is expected in the next few days, but right now the UK still formally recommends avoiding all non-essential travel, and will impose restrictions on travellers entering the UK. It also means that France's reciprocal voluntary 14-day quarantine period for visitors from the UK is still in effect. 

Should current restrictions remain in force when you travel in July, you and your friends will be asked to self-isolate in France for two weeks, and will be instructed to self-isolate on return to the UK for another fortnight. Any travel insurance you have may be affected if you travel to France under the current rules.

Current rules for UK nationals returning to the country from abroad can be found here 

Visiting France after coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted

Assuming the UK's travel restrictions are lifted - as expected - before you travel, then, as long as you do not show any coronavirus symptoms, there should be nothing stopping you coming to France. Similarly, there are no restrictions for visitors to France from EU member states, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, or the Vatican.

From July 1, France's borders are set to open to a number of other non-EU nations, including Canada, Australia, Thailand and China.

Travel companies may require you to hold a signed document confirming you are not suffering from covid, and you may also face temperature checks before you travel from the UK.

Once in France the rules are the same as for everyone else. You and your friends cannot gather in groups of more than 10 in public places. You will be encouraged to wear a mask if you cannot maintain social distancing guidelines.

A mask is compulsory for travel on public transport and taxis. While bars, restaurants and cafes are fully open across the country, you may be required to wear a facemask while moving about inside.

Many museums and attractions are open, but are operating restrictions on numbers. It is advisable to check what health measures are in place before you visit, and book in advance if you can.

Most shops and open-air markets are also open in France, again with health measures in place. You must wear a mask if the shopkeeper requires it, and maintain social distancing. Some smaller shops limit the number of customers permitted inside at any one time.

Read more: Moving forward from Covid-19: info on tourism, masks & more

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