France eases Covid travel restrictions for the UK, Australia and New Zealand

France eases Covid travel restrictions for the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP
The French government announced on Thursday it was lifting the requirement that meant only those people with "essential reasons" to travel to the UK were permitted to make the trip. Restrictions were also eased for travel to or from six other countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Since December and the emergence of the so-called “UK variant” of Covid-19 , travel between France and the UK has been extremely limited, with people only able to travel if they fit a very short list of criteria, including the death of a family member.

And since January 31st all travel outside the EU without a valid excuse has been banned to limit the spread of other Covid-19 variants.

However on Thursday the Foreign Ministry announced the relaxation of the rules on a number of destinations outside the EU, including the UK.

The government said due to the widespread presence of the “variant anglais” in France, the restrictions were no longer necessary.

The new travel regime comes into place on Friday and means people can travel between France and the UK for any reason – although they will still have to present a negative Covid test and travel certificate at the border.

The ministry statement said: “After the introduction of motif impérieux (compelling reasons) for travel outside the European area, this regime is amended to take account of international epidemic developments and to add a number of emergency situations that constitute compelling reasons.

“In a decree to be published on Friday, March 12th, it will no longer be necessary to justify a compelling reason for travel to or from Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore, due to the widespread spread of the ‘UK variant’ in France and the specific health situation in these countries.”

More than 60 percent of all Covid cases in France are now the ‘UK variant’ of the virus.

People wishing to travel to or from a non-EU destination not listed above will still need to provide motif impérieux for their trip, but the list of accepted reasons has been widened to include:

  • Couples who are married or in a civil partnership where one of the members is living abroad for professional reasons
  • Minor children attending school in France while the family home is established abroad
  • Couples with children, one living in France, the other abroad and separated.
  • Students taking a competitive examination
  • Returning to a main residence in France

Anyone travelling in to France needs to present a negative PCR Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours and fill in a declaration stating that they have no Covid symptoms.

There is no compulsory quarantine for arrivals in France, but people coming from a non-EU country are asked to self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. This can be done at an address of their choice.

Anyone wishing to travel should also check travel rules in the country they are travelling to, since many countries have compulsory testing requirements for arrivals from France.

Anyone going to the UK from France needs to quarantine on arrival and buy a travel test package, while travel from the UK is currently strictly limited by lockdown rules.

Here is the latest on requirements for tests, paperwork and quarantine for travel between France and the UK.


Member comments

  1. According to the above data chart, the rate per cap in the US is the same as the UK (and falling)and half that of France. When will France open to Americans ?

  2. It is the question or those other countries let the French in, lol. France is in this bad covid situation because bureaucratic France can not get organised what the uk, israel, Chile, Serbia etc can.
    No reason why not all traffic can be open with a test or vaccination. On the end of the day for the majority this is not more than a sniffel, are you at risk? don’t travel. If you are brave enough to step in a car, accept that there is a chance, but small that you can die from covid. The same chance you can die from cancer, a brain bleed, an infected toe or a truck who did not see you in their ‘blind corner’.
    That’s than ‘bad luck’, ah the hospitals overfull? I have a solution stop testing healthy people, only the very sick. From the money saved rent a few hotels and put the none critical there or sent them home earlier. ‘Oh but than you can die’…… Well in the hospital you can catch covid variant 399, mrsa, infections etc, etc. So not the place you want to hang around if not absolute necessary anyway.
    It is time to stop the scare mongering and life should go back to normal. Think logically, why not vaccinate anyone who wants it in ‘hotspots’ instead of prioritising the old in areas where there is barely any covid? That 20 year old is a ‘superspreader’ not that 75 year old living in a village where there are no covid cases.

  3. I am sure that this is welcome news for many from the U.K. However, it needs to be remembered that at the moment international travel from the U.K. is currently forbidden. This is always going to be the flaw as the world makes its way out of this pandemic, every country will have it’s own rules and will be at different stages of the virus and restrictions. If the U.K. govt decide to reciprocate and allow travel to France now for non-essential reasons, then it has to open up the movement internally as well, which they seem loathe to do. No point people being allowed to travel to France when they cannot see their friends and family down the road.

  4. The only hurdle now for me to see my partner after 14 months is the draconian Australian government not letting anyone out.

  5. How true is this statement in the news? I cannot find any reference to these conditions in the exempted international travel certificate on the ministry website – https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Certificate-of-international-travel

    “People wishing to travel to or from a non-EU destination not listed above will still need to provide motif impérieux for their trip, but the list of accepted reasons has been widened to include:

    Couples who are married or in a civil partnership where one of the members is living abroad for professional reasons
    Minor children attending school in France while the family home is established abroad
    Couples with children, one living in France, the other abroad and separated.
    Students taking a competitive examination
    Returning to a main residence in France”

  6. Any updates on when Americans can travel to France that have a 2nd home? (Americans that also have proof of the vaccine and/or a negative Covid test that have a 2nd home?)

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