Do vaccinated travellers transiting through France still have to quarantine in UK?

From Monday August 2nd, fully vaccinated people will be able to travel to the UK from a European country without having to quarantine, but this does not apply to France. So what about people who just travel through France en route to the UK?

Do vaccinated travellers transiting through France still have to quarantine in UK?
Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP.

The British government announced on Wednesday that vaccinated travellers from countries in Europe to the UK can skip the mandatory 10-day quarantine when arriving in England, but separate rules will still apply for France.

The British government made it clear it still requires fully vaccinated travellers from France – whether they are UK residents returning from a holiday or people vaccinated in France  – to undergo 10 days of quarantine after arrival.

But what about fully vaccinated travellers from Italy, Spain or Germany for example who are just driving through France to get to the UK?

Well it appears that they will still be required to quarantine on arrival in England.

On July 16th, after announcing that was France was in-effect ranked as “amber plus” compared to the rest of Europe which was still amber, the UK issued the following guidance:

“Anyone who has been in France in the last 10 days will need to quarantine on arrival to England in their own accommodation and will need a day 2 and day 8 test, regardless of their vaccination status. This includes any fully vaccinated individual who transits through France from either a green or another amber country to reach England.”

However, existing exemptions for key workers including truck drivers remain in place.

READ ALSO ‘Absurd, discriminatory’: Anger in France over UK’s decision to maintain quarantine

The government added: “Some operators may make specific arrangements compliant with the public health regulations that allow for transit without quarantine, for example those travelling by train from Belgium, so travellers should check with their operator.”

“Ministers indicated that Eurostar passengers on services travelling through France would not need to quarantine if their train did not stop in the country,” the BBC reported at the time.

However, it is unclear whether any exemption would extend to passengers from Belgium or the Netherlands who travel to England on a Eurostar train which stops in Lille. Passengers are advised to check with Eurostar.

It also wasn’t clear whether there were exceptions for those air passengers travelling to the UK via a French airport.

The government is yet to release detailed guidance concerning travelling through France following the latest announcement. The current guidelines simply state: “If you’ve been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if you are fully vaccinated.”

So it would seem that fully vaccinated travellers heading to the UK from a European country would be best off not going via France if possible.

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Protests, flight cancellations and fuel: What to expect this weekend in France

As citizens across France express their anger over pension reform, the country has grappled with more protests and rolling strikes, impacting key sectors like waste collection and fuel. Here's what to expect over the next week.

Protests, flight cancellations and fuel: What to expect this weekend in France

Protests have erupted across France in recent days, after French president Emmanuel Macron’s government pushed pension reform through parliament, using the controversial Article 49.3 tool to bypass a vote in the Assemblée Nationale.

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, as some protests have turned violent and there have also been allegations of police violence.

Unions and opposition leaders have promised more action in the coming days, with hopes of pushing the government to withdraw the unpopular reform.

Here is what you can expect for the days ahead in France:


There are no mass demos planned on Saturday but smaller, sporadic demos are likely across France.

Trains – In terms of transport, France’s national rail service, SNCF, has announced that rail travel will continue to be disrupted throughout the country due to strike action. On Friday, three out of four high-speed TGV trains ran according to normal schedules.

READ MORE: Calendar: The latest French pension strike dates to remember

Those who plan to travel by rail on Saturday should received a text message or email from SNCF by Friday evening if their train is affected by delays or cancellations.

Paris public transport has been largely running as normal outside the planned strike days, but police do sometimes close stations for security reasons if there are protests ongoing. To keep up to date, you can download apps such as Bonjour RATP or Citymapper.

International lines, such as Eurostar, have not yet announced any cancellations for the weekend. Only one train was cancelled on Friday. Eurostar has said they will update this page if any new cancellations are to be announced.

Flights – France’s civil aviation authority (DGAC) has asked airlines to pre-emptively cancel 15 percent flights arriving and departing from the Paris-Orly airport, and 20 percent from the Marseille-Provence, Bordeaux, and Lyon airports in the face of possible weekend strike action. Typically, flights cancelled are primarily domestic, rather than long-haul. 

Fuel and driving – oil refinery workers are continuing their strikes and blockades and about 15 percent of French fuel stations were short at least one type of fuel on Friday morning. However, the situation varies geographically – France’s south, southeast and west have been the most impacted so far, while the south-west and north-eastern parts of the country have been less affected.

READ MORE: MAP: Where in France are blockades causing fuel shortages?

Union representatives have said they hope to “hold out until the reform is withdrawn”, meaning action is likely to continue through the weekend.

To keep track of traffic forecasts in France, you can use the country’s traffic watchdog, Bison Futé. On Friday, forecasts for the weekend were ‘green’ (for normal).

If you are driving in the Paris area, the government site Sytadin also updates with real-time estimations.

Waste collection – Members of the union representing public garbage collectors for the city of Paris voted to renew their rolling strike until at least Monday, March 27th.

As of Friday, there were still around 9,000 tonnes of refuse on the cities’ streets, which represents a slight decrease from the previous figure of 10,000 tonnes. Local authorities have begun requisitioning workers, but progress has been slow and Paris officials estimate that it may take up to two weeks to clear the garbage off the streets.


On Sunday, similar disruptions can be expected on French national rail services. If your train is cancelled or delayed, you should receive information from SNCF at least 24 hours in advance. 

As for flights, the DGAC has asked airlines to cancel 33 percent of flights at the Paris-Orly airport, and 20 percent at the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry and Marseille-Provence airports.

READ MORE: Should you cancel a trip to France because of strikes and demos?


France’s Civil Aviation authority (DGAC) asked airlines to cancel 20 percent of flights at the Paris-Orly airport and the Marseille-Provence airport on Monday. Trains may also see some disruption but other services such as city public transport are likely to run as normal.

There are no large demos or marches scheduled for Monday.


The eight main union federations announced a new day of mobilisation on Tuesday, March 28th. As such, you can expect demos across French cities, and that national rail services and city public transport will be disrupted. During the last day of action, on March 23rd, at least one million people across France took to the streets, according to estimations by the French government.

Precise details of disruptions will be released on Monday – check HERE for the latest information.

READ MORE: Reader Question: Can I take a taxi during a French strike?

Wednesday – Friday

Depending on the outcome of strike action on Tuesday, there may be continued spontaneous protests across the country later in the week. 

As several unions have announced that they will continue action until the reform is withdrawn, rolling strikes in oil refineries, waste collection, and transport could continue, should striking workers vote to do so.

Keep an eye on our strike section for all the latest developments.