Is France imposing a 14-day quarantine on UK travellers?

Is France imposing a 14-day quarantine on UK travellers?
Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP
Following a summit of EU leaders, British media reported that France is imposing a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK, even fully vaccinated ones - so what's really happening?

Do arrivals in France from the UK have to quarantine for 14 days?

At present, no. The UK is on France’s orange list for travel under the traffic light system that has been in place since June 9th.

This means that fully vaccinated travellers can come to France for any reason and don’t need to quarantine, but do need a negative Covid test.

For those not fully vaccinated things are stricter – they can only travel for essential reasons and have to quarantine for seven days on arrival, and have a negative Covid test.

You can find a full explanation of the rules HERE.

Is this about to change?

Maybe. There concerns in France and other EU countries about the spread of the Delta variant of Covid.

This accounts for 90 percent of cases in the UK, where case numbers are again rising. In France, and most of the rest of the EU, case numbers are falling and the Delta variant represents only a small percentage of cases, but leaders are very aware that this could change rapidly.

What’s the change?

Some countries have already brought in extra measures for UK travellers, with Belgium bringing in a travel ban and Germany quarantining all UK arrivals, even fully vaccinated ones, for 14 days.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said: “In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, and that’s what I would like to see.”

Does France agree?

Speaking at a meeting of EU leaders on June 24th, French president Emmanuel Macron seemed to back Merkel’s view, saying: “For me, one of the issues of discussion is to be really taking coordinated decisions in terms of opening of borders to third countries and on recognising vaccines, because at this stage we have to limit this to the vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency.”

So a 14-day quarantine?

You will notice that what Macron actually said is considerably more vague that announcing a 14-day quarantine.

Under France’s current rules no arrivals have to quarantine for 14 days, not even those from red list countries such as India. The maximum quarantine time is 10 days and this can be done at home – although this is enforced with visits from the police.

Throughout the pandemic, France has consistently pushed for a coordinated EU approach to border restrictions, so what Macron said only chimes with the current position.

However, border decisions are taken on a national level for all EU countries and in the past 18 months there has never been total consensus on health rules, with all countries imposing different rules at different times on arrivals from various countries.

Other EU countries at the summit were not in favour of such strict measures and so far no consensus has been reached.

We will update our Travelling to France section HERE as soon as there is an announcement from the French government on any changes to the travel rules.

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