Do I still have to quarantine myself if I am traveling through France or Belgium to reach the UK?


Belgium and France are officially off the FCO’s ‘green list’, meaning anyone arriving in the UK from the country will have to self-isolate for 14 days.However, there is an exception for travelers crossing Belgium or France, as many do from much of western and central Europe, to reach the UK.

If the car does not stop during the entire trip in Belgium and France, no passenger exits and no new passengers enter, the occupants of the car will not need to quarantine themselves at their arrival in the UK, the Transport Department confirmed. .

This means that if you pass through either country on your way to Britain you won’t be able to stop for gas or supplies if you want to avoid isolating yourself.

The rules for traveling in France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The FCO states the following for people traveling by private vehicle in a country not exempt from quarantine, including Belgium and France:

If you quit, you don’t need to self-isolate if:

  • No new person enters the vehicle
  • No one in the vehicle exits, mixes with other people and re-enters

You should self-isolate if you stop and:

  • New people get into the vehicle, or
  • Someone gets out of the vehicle, mixes with other people and gets on again

Check for FCO updates on this here.

Will my travel insurance be invalid while I am in Belgium or France?

It depends on the policy (they vary widely) and when you bought it.

Fiona Macrae, responsible for travel insurance explained, tells Telegraph travel: “To return home to the UK, if you have no choice but to pass through a country which has been removed from the FCO’s safe travel list, and your journey began before the issuance of the change of mind, accident, in general your travel insurance will cover any necessary emergency medical treatment. ”

Generally speaking, however, once a country has been removed from the FCO’s green list, it will be difficult for you to take cover. But it is not impossible; Oliver Smith explains how:

And the Eurotunnel?

Many people enter France from countries including Belgium to use the Eurotunnel, in order to reach the United Kingdom. As it stands, France does not impose border controls on travelers arriving from Belgium, so you shouldn’t have any problems crossing the line from Germany or Switzerland.

But that could change if France decides to restrict arrivals from Belgium in response to the rise in cases. Be sure to check the French ministry’s advice to foreigners page before your trip.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle faces high call volumes following the announcement of Belgium’s removal from the FCO secure list, and said on Twitter: “The phone lines and live chat are extremely busy at the moment. . We have recruited additional staff to help our customers answer their questions. ”

A spokesperson said Telegraph travel: “If they have contact with someone or bring someone new in the car, quarantine applies. ”

Eurotunnel currently operates up to four services per hour from Folkestone to Calais. However, since the UK reimposed restrictions on arrivals from France, this might be less popular. The end of June was the operator’s largest booking day, with three times as many passengers securing a crossing compared to the same date in 2019.

At the time, John Keefe, Eurotunnel Public Affairs Director, said: “Traveling with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is proving very popular because you can go from home to vacation without leaving your car: no crowds, no contacts, 35 minutes to cross from Folkestone to Calais and you are on your way.

The company also offers refundable tickets, to reassure vacationers who fear last-minute border closures. Prices start at £ 72 per car for up to nine passengers.

And the Eurostar?

Rail travelers arriving in the UK from services that include a stop in Belgium will need to self-isolate for 14 days, according to the Department for Transport, while journeys from Paris are, understandably, affected.

This means that Eurostar passengers arriving in London from Amsterdam will need to be quarantined, as the route involves a change of train in Brussels.

Consult the Eurostar coronavirus page for updates.

What happens now that France has been removed from the FCO green list?

Now that the FCO has removed France from the quarantine exemption list, you will no longer be able to arrive in the UK from France via services including Eurotunnel without having to quarantine yourself for 14 days. This takes effect from 4 a.m. on Saturday August 15.


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