This last month has seen France relax its rules on Brits travelling to and from the EU. However, with the country under a second lockdown and UK rules still preventing overseas travel for non-essential reasons, many French second-home owners have still been unable to visit their properties.
So, what exactly are the new rules for travel between the UK and France, and when can second-home owners expect to be able to visit their French property?
France’s Travel Rules
As of March 12th, it is possible for travellers from the UK to visit France (and French travellers to leave France) without a ‘compelling reason’ for travel. This essentially means that you can now travel to France for any reason, whether that be to visit family and friends, take a holiday, or visit your French property.
On April 29th President Macron announced France’s plans for reopening the country, which includes a lifting of the ‘lockdown light‘ from May 3rd and a gradual reopening of the country. France remains under a nationwide 7pm-6am curfew and reopening will be dependant upon the situation staying stable. Therefore, it is still recommended to avoid all unnecessary travel and we certainly don’t advise traveling purely for tourism. If you do travel, keep an eye on the French government site for Covid-related rules as these can change from week to week.
On arrival in France, you will still need to show a negative Covid test and an attestation stating that you have no symptoms. You are also recommended to self-isolate for seven days, although this is not being enforced.
From June 9th France’s borders will be reopened to all non-EU visitors for any reason, including second-home owners, tourists, and potential French property buyers. All travellers will be required to have a pass sanitaire, the new ‘health passport’ which France will be introducing from June 9th. The details of this are yet to be announced, but it is expected that travellers will have to upload their vaccine certification or negative Covid test to the app in order to gain entry.
Check the latest rules for travel to and from France here.
UK Travel Rules
Don’t reach for your passport just yet! On the UK side, it is currently illegal to leave the country for anything other than essential reasons. These include work, studies, and medical or compassionate grounds, but do not include visiting a second home or any kind of tourism.
Check the latest rules on travel to and from the UK here.
May 17th has been put forward as the date when these restrictions will be relaxed, but this is still subject to change. We will update this article as soon as we know more.
What about travelling to the UK?
Although it is not possible for UK residents to travel to France right now, it is possible for those in France to return. However, there are still restrictions in place.
On return to the UK, you must present a negative Covid test and a passenger locator form. You must also follow a mandatory 10-day quarantine period after which you must re-test for Covid using a travel testing kit, which costs around £200. You can find out all the details about this here.
Is France on the UK’s ‘red list’
The UK’s ‘red list’ is a list of countries from which arrivals must undertake their 10-day quarantine at a government-approved quarantine hotel. The cost of this is payable by the traveller and is estimated at £1,750. You can find out all the details of booking and staying in a government-approved quarantine hotel here.
For the moment France is not on the red list.