News Digest: UK Relaxes Travel Rules & France’s Vaccine Milestone



News Digest: UK Relaxes Travel Rules & France’s Vaccine Milestone

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 ID Cards No Longer Valid for Travel to UK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 14thfind out more and sign up now.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  • Simon Slade
    2021-09-22 10:49:09
    Simon Slade
    No. 1 above of this article needs updating in view of the latest UK Govt announcement this morning 22 September


    • Zoë Smith
      2021-09-23 03:33:59
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Simon, You are absolutely right. As is so often the case with my News Digest articles, the travel rules published have YET AGAIN been updated shortly after the announcement! Please refer to our article on Travel Between France and the UK ( which is kept updated with the latest news as we hear it (the last published date will tell you when it was last updated). All the best, Zoe


  •  Mike Falla
    2021-09-21 05:51:25
    Mike Falla
    Can we come to France from Guernsey, Channel Islands as we have been double vaccinated?


    • Zoë Smith
      2021-09-23 03:40:18
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Mike, Yes, vaccinated travellers from green, amber, and red countries can now travel to France following the same rules. The entry requirements are proof of vaccination and a sworn declaration (found here: No Covid tests are required. All the best,


  •  Gaynor Gunn
    2021-09-21 05:50:40
    Gaynor Gunn
    UK relaxes travel test rules - I don't think the information is quite correct; from October 4th the antigen test will no longer be needed pre travel to the UK but a PCR test will still be needed on Day 2 of arrival in the UK. The PCR test will be ended at the end of October and an administered antigen (or lateral flow test, as it's known in the UK) will have to be booked in the UK up to Day 2. The exact dates still to be announced. Your wording is as if the PCR test will be ended on 4th October.


    • Zoë Smith
      2021-09-23 03:44:09
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Gaynor, You are right, the UK government updated its guidelines with additional details the day after this article was published. Please refer to our article on Travel Between the UK and France for the latest ( All the best,