The pricey PCR tests currently required for travelling to the UK will soon be scrapped, Emmanuel Macron is celebrating his vaccine campaign success, plus watch the replay of last week’s FrenchEntrée webinar. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. UK Relaxes Travel Test Rules
There are more changes for those travelling between France and the UK, with the UK announcing last week that, from October 4th, vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test. They will still need to take a Day 2 test as before, but cheaper antigen tests will now be allowed. We’re still waiting on the full details of this, including whether or not these Day 2 tests must be booked in advance as is currently the practice, so watch this space.
However, one point of contention for those vaccinated in the EU is that the UK is still refusing to recognize those vaccinated with mixed doses (i.e. receiving one dose of AstraZeneca, followed by a second dose of Pfizer) and those vaccinated with a single dose (because they have recovered from Covid-19 within the six months prior to vaccination) as being fully vaccinated. Both of these practices have been widespread in France and many other EU countries (and, controversially, the UK does recognise mixed-dose vaccines issued in the UK, as well as some other countries, including Australia and Canada). Unfortunately, this means that any traveller that falls under one of the above-mentioned cases will be counted as unvaccinated and therefore subject to the applicable testing and quarantine procedures.
2. ID Cards No Longer Valid for Travel to UK
In non-Covid related travel news, there’s another key change that comes into practice at the end of the month for EU citizens heading to the UK. Post-Brexit travel rules mean that national ID cards will no longer be valid for entering the UK – therefore, all travellers from the EU must now have a valid passport.
For the many Brits with French friends, partners, or relatives used to travelling with their ID card, now’s the time to remind them to fill out that passport application! The rule comes into force on September 30th.
3. Vaccine Milestone for France
President Emmanuel Macron announced last Friday that France has reached its end-of-August target of 50 million people receiving at least their first dose of the vaccine. The initial deadline might have been overshot by a couple of weeks, but it’s still an impressive accomplishment, especially considering the country’s slow start to rolling out the vaccines.
Impressively, France now has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with not far off 90% of adults having received at least their first dose. The introduction of France’s Health Pass at the start of August, which is currently required to access everything from bars to gyms, is credited with convincing the notoriously vaccine-sceptic French to get jabbed.
4. FrenchEntrée Webinar
A huge thanks to all of you that attended last week’s FrenchEntrée webinar, which featured an expert panel including representatives from our partners at Blevins Franks, Beaux Villages, and Agence AXA International. It was packed with valuable information on French tax, healthcare, and buying in France in the current market, as well as offering you the opportunity to put your questions directly to the experts.
If you missed out, don’t worry, we recorded it all, and you can watch the replay for free here.
As host, this webinar was also a great opportunity for me to hear all your concerns and questions. Many of you had questions over residency and visa requirements for moving or retiring to France, and with that in mind, I will be publishing new content addressing as many of these questions as possible over the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on our Moving to France zone for all the latest.
Finally, don’t forget that this webinar was the first in a three-part series focusing on buying and moving to France in 2021 and beyond. The next instalment is scheduled for October 14th – find out more and sign up now.
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