Relaxed rules for travellers between France and the UK come into effect this week, but you might need a booster to qualify as fully vaccinated in France. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. France Drops 24hr Test from the UK
Good news for vaccinated travellers coming to France from the UK—pre-travel tests will no longer have to be taken within 24 hours of departure. Proof of a negative PCR or antigen (lateral flow) Covid test result is still required by vaccinated travellers prior to departure; however, it can now be taken within a 48-hour window before departure.
Finding 24-hour tests can be tricky in the UK, so this update is likely to make it much easier for travellers from the UK. The new rule comes into effect immediately.
Unvaccinated travellers still require an Essential Reason to travel, and pre-travel tests must still be taken within 24 hours of travel.
See our guide to Travel Between France and the UK
2. UK Scraps Day 2 Tests for Vaccinated Travellers
We announced in our News Digest a couple of weeks back that the UK was also relaxing its entry procedures for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. The changes will come into effect from this Friday, February 11th. From then on, vaccinated travellers will no longer need to pre-book and take a Covid test on Day 2 of arrival – you will, however, still need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form.
Unvaccinated travellers will still need to present a negative pre-departure test and also take a Day 2 test on arrival; however, they will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test on Day 8.
3. Boosters Required for France Entry
France has confirmed that the requirements for booster vaccines will now be extended to all travellers and visitors over the age of 18. These new rules came into effect for EU travellers on February 1st, 2022, and it is now clear that these rules will apply to all travellers wishing to enter France.
This means that in order to be considered “fully vaccinated” for entry to France, you must have received a booster vaccine within nine months (270 days) of your second vaccine dose.
If your last vaccination was over nine months ago, you must receive a booster vaccine prior to traveling to France in order to be counted as vaccinated. Otherwise, you will fall under the same rules of unvaccinated travellers, including the requirements to test, quarantine, or provide an Essential Reason (depending on your country of origin).
4. Are You Hoping to Retire to France?
If you’re looking to retire to France now or in the future, FrenchEntrée is here to answer all your questions and concerns. Check out our new Retiring to France Essential Reading guides, which will take you through each step, from applying for residency and understanding your pension options to French healthcare for the over-60s and paying tax on your overseas pension.
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