Positive signs for France-UK Christmas travel

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Will it be possible to travel from France to the UK to spend time with family in the UK during the holiday season?It’s impossible to categorically answer this at the moment, but the signs are encouraging.

More information is expected today from the UK government on the upcoming easing of quarantine rules in the UK and President Macron will speak tomorrow night on plans to ease containment restrictions in France.

The borders are not closed between the UK and France as the UK is still considered part of the European area.

However, the current lockdown rules, which only allow people in France to exit and move around for specified reasons, mean you shouldn’t consider traveling to the EU for purely social or recreational reasons.

This is unlikely to be checked at the airport, but if you leave your home to travel, the police might ask you to show a standard non-conforming travel certificate form, with a reason for being absent, which would be limited, for example, to an “imperative family reason” or to “helping vulnerable people” or otherwise for work.

You should also bring such a form when you return from the UK, on ​​which you could handwrite a note stating that you are returning home after a visit for such purpose.

The good news is that a spokesperson for the French government said that one could expect a gradual relaxation of the foreclosure rules, first from December 1 and then “before the end of the holidays. year ”, and finally from January of next year.

Details remain to be clarified, but if the requirement to attestation The forms are simplified to allow people to spend time with families in France during the holiday period and then it would be possible to travel to the UK for that as well.

There is another restriction however, in that the UK still has a 14-day quarantine requirement in place for those arriving from France.

This means that people traveling to the UK to see their family need to go to only one destination – such as a relative’s house – and stay there for at least 14 days.

If they are visiting the UK for less time than that, they must remain isolated for the duration of the stay. The self-isolation rules are listed here.

It is widely reported in the UK press today that before Christmas time the UK intends to reduce this quarantine requirement to a minimum of five days.

However, it is believed that people will only be allowed to shorten the period if they get a negative Covid test, either with a PCR test, which had taken several days for the result, or one of the newer rapid antigen tests, which gives results. in less than an hour.

It is said, however, that the UK will not make the tests free and they can cost over £ 100.

More details on the policy are expected later today.

There could be an additional complication for anyone returning from the UK to France on or after January 1.

Indeed, with the end of the Brexit transition period, it is possible that the UK will no longer be considered part of the European zone. The connection asked the British Embassy in Paris on this point but has not yet received a response.

If the UK is no longer in the European zone, there are two expected effects – you will need to arrive in France after having tested negative for Covid in the past 72 hours, otherwise you will be asked to take one at the airport on arrival. . If the test is positive, you will have to self-isolate in France.

You must also bring an international travel form, stating one of the few reasons for traveling, including that you are a legal resident of France. The form also includes sections where you swear on your honor that you do not have symptoms of Covid-19.

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