France-England quarantine easing: What about Scotland, Wales, Ireland?

Fully vaccinated travellers from France to England will no longer need to quarantine on arrival from August 8, the UK government has announced. We look at the rules for travel from France to other parts of the UK.

5 August 2021
By Thomas Brent

Reader question: The UK has dropped quarantine rules from travellers from France to England. What about travel from France to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales?

The UK government’s announcement yesterday (August 4) that fully vaccinated travellers from France do not need to quarantine on arrival only applies technically to England.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have, though, both confirmed that they will adopt the same change.

The Welsh government meanwhile criticised the “ad-hoc nature” of the UK government’s travel rules, and said it will consider implementing the latest change. 

Read more: UK quarantine is ending for vaccinated visitors from France

It means that from Sunday (August 8), people who are fully vaccinated - whether in the UK or in France - will be able to travel from France to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland without the need to quarantine on arrival.

The UK government announced on July 16 that France had been added to a new category of its traffic light system - the amber-plus list - due to “the persistent presence of cases in France of the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa". It was the only country to be added to the list. 

The controversial move was criticised by French ministers after it was disclosed that the decision to impose tougher restrictions on fully vaccinated travellers coming from France was partly due to the prevalence of the Beta variant in La Réunion, a French island, 5,700 miles (9,180 km) from Paris.

La Réunion, which is listed separately on the UK’s travel list, is now being added to the red list.

Read more: UK minister’s statement on France Covid quarantine and Réunion flawed

Under the UK’s new rule change for France, everyone aged 11 and over will still need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test.

Everyone aged five and over will still have to take a second Covid test on day two after arriving. 

Proof of purchase of the second test must be included on the passenger locator form, which everyone over the age of 18 must fill in before they travel. 

Children under 18 who are residents in the UK or France do not need to quarantine on arrival or take a test on day eight, regardless of their vaccination status. 

To read more about the UK’s travel rules for amber-listed countries, which includes France, you can check the government website at this link.

Related stories:

France: 'Let vaccinated UK people make up own minds on travel'

Three calls and a visit: UK quarantine checks on my trip from France

Three more reasons why UK quarantine rule for France is flawed

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