Advice for travelers to France: What are the latest lockdown rules and can I visit?

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A stone’s throw away, France has long been a popular holiday staple for Britons. It was one of the first countries to be added to the UK’s list of travel corridors – places from which arrivals did not have to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine – but was removed soon after the skyrocketing number of new coronavirus cases.

Like many European countries, including the United Kingdom, France is now facing a second wave of Covid-19, with rates of infection, hospitalizations and death on the rise again. It introduced strict measures as a result, many of which affect potential tourists.

Am I authorized to travel to France from the UK?

Technically yes. While FCDO currently advises against non-essential travel to France, it is not illegal to travel there. However, if you travel against the advice of the FCDO, it will likely invalidate your travel insurance unless you purchase a special policy.

How to get there?

Air France, easyJet and British Airways all operate direct flights between London and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Eurostar currently offers three daily connections in each direction between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord.

Brittany Ferries continue to operate crossings from Poole, Plymouth and Portsmouth to various French ports, and are currently waiving their change fees for those wishing to change their travel dates.

The Eurotunnel is also always open.

Will they let me in when I get there?

French President Emmanuel Macron said France’s European borders will remain open.

Arrivals by sea and air will need to complete a self-declaration form certifying that they do not suffer from symptoms associated with Covid-19 and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the previous fortnight. . This is available in English on the website of the French Embassy in London.

The number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase in France and the French government is implementing strict measures to limit the spread of the virus.

From October 30, new lockdown rules will be in place for four weeks in mainland France and Martinique. People are instructed to stay indoors and can only leave their residence if they have an exemption certificate and under the following circumstances: they are commuting between work, university or an internship (only if it cannot be done remotely); they have medical appointments that cannot be done remotely or postponed; there are essential family commitments, such as assisting a vulnerable person, helping someone in an emergency or caring for children; they have a disability or are caregivers of a disabled person; they have a judicial or administrative summons; they “participate in a mission of general interest at the request of an administrative authority”; or they walk a pet outside within 1 km of their residence and for a short time.

People are also allowed outside “to buy basic necessities or to walk near you,” Macron announced.

Do I have to take a Covid-19 PCR test?

You won’t have to provide a negative test to enter France, but it looks like you will be tested when you arrive in the country.

Do I have to quarantine on arrival?

No, France does not require UK travelers to self-quarantine when entering. However, the current lockdown rules add up to something similar to quarantine for most people anyway.

Will I have to quarantine myself when I get home?

Yes. France is not currently on the UK government’s list of travel corridors, meaning those returning will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Can I travel to France?

No, not under the new measures. The French government website says: “It is forbidden to travel between different parts of France”, but adds that there will be a certain “tolerance” for those returning from vacation on the weekend of October 31 to November 1 .

Are the hotels open?

Hotels will be allowed to stay open, but their restaurants will be closed.

However, it is not known whether many will remain open when demand is likely to be extremely low.

Are restaurants, shops and attractions open?

During the new national lockdown, almost everything will be closed (and even if the attractions were open, you wouldn’t be allowed access under the new rules).

Macron announces new national lockdown in France

Non-essential shops and places as well as bars and restaurants will have to close from October 30, but take-out food, grocery stores and supermarkets, pharmacies and tobacconists, as well as gas stations and other essential stores, will remain open.

What rules are in place?

Apart from the rather restrictive rule of not being allowed to leave your residence without a valid reason (or face a fine of € 135), public gatherings are prohibited and masks must be worn at all times in closed public spaces. In some areas, for example Paris, you must also wear a mask in all outdoor public spaces.

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