France drops 24-hour Covid test for fully vaccinated UK travellers

Tests within 48 hours of departure are now accepted

A person getting a PCR test
France has progressively lifted strict Covid-related travel rules on UK travellers

France has updated its Covid rules for fully vaccinated travellers from the UK, who can now take a Covid test (PCR or antigen) within 48 hours of departure, instead of 24 hours.

The measure was confirmed yesterday (February 4) on Twitter by the French consul general in London, Guillaume Bazard. The rule came into effect immediately.

It brings Covid travel rules for the UK in line with many other non-EU countries, such as the US and Australia.

The UK is on France’s amber travel list.

There are currently no countries on France’s red or scarlet travel lists.

This move is a further relaxation by France of measures on UK travellers.

France lifted what was essentially a ban on tourists from the UK entering the country on January 14.

Previously, everyone - even those fully vaccinated - had to provide an ‘essential reason’ for travelling to France, which meant proof of having the right to either live or work in the country.

Read more: UK-France travel restrictions will eased

What are the travel rules now in place between the UK and France?

Fully vaccinated people are now allowed to travel from the UK to France without needing an essential reason, and will not have to quarantine when they arrive.

Note that travellers aged over 18 years and one month must now have a booster vaccine dose within nine months of their second in order to maintain their 'fully vaccinated status'. If they do not they will be classed as unvaccinated.

Read more: Covid booster dose requirement extends to all travellers to France

All fully vaccinated travellers must:

  • Sign a sworn statement (engagement sur l’honneur) confirming that they are not experiencing Covid symptoms and have not in the last 14 days been in contact with a confirmed Covid case.
  • Present the negative result of a PCR or antigen test taken in the 48 hours before their journey begins

Children aged under 12 do not need to present a test. The UK government website states that in France: "The same measures applied to vaccinated adults are applied to any minors who are travelling with them, whether vaccinated or not."

Unvaccinated travellers must also:

  • Be able to present an essential reason for travel
  • Present the negative result of a PCR or antigen test taken in the 24 hours before their journey begins
  • Quarantine for 10 days on arrival. They must sign up to an online platform before their journey so that a prefectural decree can be issued with instructions for their self-isolation period

Related stories:

France-UK travel: Day two tests for vaccinated to end February 11

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France