Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from Jan 14th, 2021



Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from Jan 14th, 2021

What exactly are the current rules for travel between the UK and France, and how can French property buyers and second-home owners visit?

First things first: remember that there are two sets of rules you need to take into account – those for entering or returning to France and those for entering or returning to the UK. Regardless of which country you are resident in, you will need to follow the set of rules laid out by the destination country you are travelling to. Here’s the latest on both.

France’s Travel Rules

France is currently operating a traffic light classification system for travel. The UK is currently classed as an Orange country, however, specific rules apply for travellers from the UK. From Friday, January 14th, the rules for travel to and from the UK from France have once again changed. It is no longer required for vaccinated travellers to have an Essential Reason to travel to and from France.

Here are the rules for travelling to France from the UK.

Vaccinated travellers

You may travel to France for any reason including tourism, family visits, or to stay in your second home. You will need:

  • to show proof of vaccination
  • proof of a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 24 hours of departure for all passengers aged 12 and over (this must be a ‘fit to fly’ test with a scannable QR code that has been processed by a laboratory – home tests are only accepted if the results are verified by a lab).
  • to present a sworn statement stating that you have no Covid-19 symptoms, which you can download here.

There are no longer any restrictions on vaccinated travellers leaving France to visit the UK.

Unvaccinated travellers

Unvaccinated travellers must still have an Essential Reason both to leave France for the UK and to enter France. In addition to this, you will need:

  • proof of a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 24 hours of departure for all passengers aged 12 and over (this must be a ‘fit to fly’ test with a scannable QR code that has been processed by a laboratory – home tests are only accepted if the results are verified by a lab).
  • to present a sworn statement stating that you have no Covid-19 symptoms, which you can download here.
  • to register with France’s online tracking service here before you travel to France. You will need details of where you will be staying in France and this address will be the official address at which you must carry out your self-isolation period. Save or print out the identification file received at the end of the process.

On arrival in France:

  • you must self-isolate at the above-given address for 10 days. This self-isolation will be enforced by the French authorities.
  • The rules of the quarantine are detailed on the form issued when you register with France’s online tracking service (see link above).
  • You must present a negative PCR test at the end of the self-isolation period.

Check the latest rules for travel to and from France here.

UK Travel Rules

The UK is now operating a ‘red list’ for travel with stricter rules applying to countries on this list. France is not currently on the list, meaning that vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers may visit the UK providing they meet the following conditions.

Vaccinated Travellers Entering the UK

As of January 7th 2022, the rules for entering (or returning to) the UK for vaccinated travellers** from France are as follows:

  • You must present your EU Covid Certificate (available on France’s Heath Pass) or vaccination certificate.
  • You must book and pay for 1 x COVID-19 day 2 test before arrival. This test can be a PCR or antigen test and MUST be booked before you travel via the government webiste (see the link above) – you will need to enter the test code onto your passenger locator form.
  • You must present a completed passenger locator form completed less than 48 hours before your arrival in the UK (note that you will need the number of your day 2 test to fill in this form)

REMEMBER: As mentioned above, if you are unvaccinated, you may also need a signed declaration to LEAVE France (which you can download here).

On arrival in the UK:

  • You must take the pre-booked COVID-19 test on or before day 2.
  • You do not need to self-isolate until a negative result from the test is received.
  • However, if the results of this test are positive, you will be asked to quarantine.

*Note: children over the age of 4 must take the day 2 tests.

These rules apply to UK Citizens and residents, as well as all other arrivals from France. Self-isolation can take place at a home, hotel, or accommodation of your choice – you are not required to pay for one of the UK’s quarantine hotels. You are also allowed to travel to this location (using public transport if required) on arrival in the UK.

**What Counts As Vaccinated Under UK Rules?

The UK has now updated it’s rules for those vaccinated using two different brands of vaccine (for example, you received one dose of Moderna and one dose of Pfizer). These are now counted as fully vaccinated.

Unfortunately, this does not apply to those who have recovered from Covid-19 and therefore only received one dose of a vaccine (a common practice in France). These people will therefore be subject to the same rules as unvaccinated travellers including the need to quarantine and the Day 8 test.

Unvaccinated travellers entering the UK

On arrival in the UK, you must:

  • ‘quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days’, and
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

Read the official rules for travel to and from the UK.

Traveling Between the UK and France

The rules on travel between the UK and France are constantly changing, and it’s important to keep on top of any changes if you plan to travel. Keep an eye on the government sites for the latest updates and bookmark this page—we’ll keep it updated as soon as we know more.

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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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  • Jonathan Maytham
    2021-12-04 04:55:53
    Jonathan Maytham
    updated 2 Dec Outdated 4 Dec France travel advice - GOV.UK ( Summary Still current at: 4 December 2021 Updated: 3 December 2021 Latest update: Update to information on changes to entry rules from midnight 4 December local time (11pm GMT 3 December); those travelling from the UK to France must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) before departure. This applies to all travellers whether fully vaccinated or not. Tests must be taken no more than 48 hours before travel for vaccinated travellers and no more than 24 hours before travel for those who are not fully vaccinated. Self-administered tests are not accepted.


    • Zoë Smith
      2021-12-09 12:32:22
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Jonathan, Yes, as you can see the rules for travel between France and the UK can change very quickly, especially in light of the new variant. We do our best to keep our travel pages updated regularly, but we ALWAYS recommend checking (and double-checking!) the rules as stated on the above-linked government travel pages prior to travelling. Thanks!


  •  rob alter
    2021-11-24 10:59:43
    rob alter
    My family had a great time in Paris. We had a wonderful time there and enjoyed the culture of the region. The nightlife was fantastic, and the city's elegance is indescribable. We are in love with the place and explore so many places like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Cruise on the Seine, etc. After reading your blog I would like to revisit there.


  •  Rebecca Hinchcliffe-Gregg
    2021-11-18 08:16:31
    Rebecca Hinchcliffe-Gregg
    We are due to travel to our property in France for Christmas. There are three of us that are Adults and we are fully vaccinated. We also have two children, who are 14 & 15 who have had one vaccination each at their school within the past month. We've noticed that no proof of vaccination documentation can be obtained for children under 16. We have read many websites and it is unclear to us what the latest guidelines and requirements are for vaccinated children over the age of 12 to travel to and from France. Can anybody help?


  •  Adrian
    2021-10-05 12:24:58
    There is a lot of information on many different sites on what the requirements are for entering the UK. All very confusing. I am flying from France to the UK Saturday 9th Oct. I have been advised to tick exemption as I am a HGV driver just picking up a loaded vehicle to drive back to France. Do I need to book any tests in the UK before travelling???


  •  Enrique Elliott
    2021-09-27 08:03:45
    Enrique Elliott
    Zoe We are planning to fly to Geneva and hire a car to drive to France and would like some advice on paperwork required to and from France over the Swiss border / flying to Geneva. We are both double vaccinated, so hopefully this will make things easier.


  •  Rachel
    2021-09-23 03:20:30
    The GOV.UK site also states that, from 4th October, fully vaccinated travelers must have an official certificate containing information on both the first and the second dose. Unfortunately in France it seems that the first-dose certificate is replaced by the second-dose certificate in the system and is then impossible to retrieve. So if you weren't given an "en cours" certificate after the first dose like two members of my family, what then? Does anyone else have this issue?


    • Craig Hutchinson
      2021-09-28 05:48:33
      Craig Hutchinson
      If you have the AntiCovid app the second certificate clearly states “Vaccination 2 of 2”, what’s the problem. I recently visited the UK no problem.


  • Lynn Game
    2021-08-19 10:06:49
    Lynn Game
    For a double vaccinated traveller, must the Covid tests for return to the UK from France, be PCR? Or will Lateral flow do? I am reading conflicting advice... Thanks


  •  Mulberry
    2021-08-17 08:21:01
    How about the travel rules for countries between UK and France please? Ferry to Holland so transiting through Holland and Belgium, not stopping in either though, not even fuel. The govt sites for both are not straightforward to definitely determine tests, quarantine and locator form requirements. If just there for short periods in transit, are any of those relevant relating to those countries?


  • Kevin Regan
    2021-08-11 12:01:06
    Kevin Regan
    Bonjour - What is the current situation regarding taking food (meat/dairy) into France in the form of sandwiches etc for snacks on a journey through France? Do we need to go vegan and/or fish paste sandwiches? :) Also is there a restriction on taking dry dog food in bags larger than 2 kg? We drive to Spain, taking 3 days, and usually including a Sunday when many restaurants are closed. We don't want us or our dogs to starve!! :)


  • Victor Arthur Dover
    2021-08-03 12:31:35
    Victor Arthur Dover
    My wife and I are travelling to our house in France on Friday 6th August, have booked PCR test for travelling to France what do I need to book to return on the 14th


  • Roger John Bloxham
    2021-07-28 11:20:30
    Roger John Bloxham
    The site indicates that our UK QR codes on the NHS site will not be scannable by French scanning devices. We cannot access the French system. In view of the added restrictions from 01 August (QR required in restaurants) what do you suggest we do? We are due to slip under the wire on 02 August and go to our French home for a month. Possibly.


  •  Bob F
    2021-07-20 06:22:49
    Bob F
    The Beta Variant is only really present in Reunion and Mayotte, some 6000 miles away from mainland France, the UK decision to make France Amber Plus needing quarantine on return is both knee jerk and uninformed.


  • Alison Elliott
    2021-06-18 12:44:40
    Alison Elliott
    Hi I'm English and double vaccinated. I flew from Heathrow to Geneva earlier this week and got car hire on french side at the airport. At every step the staff were unsure whether I was allowed to go, as not allowed in to Switzerland. However, after they made enquiries I was let though and am now happily in France. But I'm going back next Friday 25th June. Planning the reverse. Will get PCR test as required. Do you know if I'm officially allowed into the airport, or will it be luck if I am let through? Thanks!


  •  adrian ward
    2021-06-16 11:18:09
    adrian ward
    It's called the 'Delta variant'.


  •  Mr.Pikhanov Boris
    2021-06-16 02:39:58
    Mr.Pikhanov Boris
    Dear Sirs, I am going to visit London for a period from June 22 to June 26, 2021. I am leaving in Ferney Voltaire in France near Geneva. So I am planning to flight to Geneva from Geneva airport to London and then to come back from London to Geneva airport. I have made 2 vacinations - the second one in February 25, 2021. I have with me Swiss certificate about these vacinations. International certificates will be activated in Switzerland only since June 28. 2021. I have made already 4 PCR tests during my two trips to Spain and paid for it about 560 swiss franks. All these PCR tests were demanded long after my second vacination. Now I have read the rules to go to England and understood that you again wish me to do the PCR test before departure to London. Swiss authorities informed me that I need only simple free of charge test. Would youn kindly inform me who of you is lieing and which tests I need for my visit to London. You description with these colour zone is very bad from my point of view. Regards, Boris Pikhanov, Swiss citizen, June 16, 2021.


  • Norma
    2021-06-16 01:37:19
    Would you please address travel updates between the US and France? We are traveling in Oct. , hopefully.


  • Adrian McBride
    2021-06-13 05:43:46
    Adrian McBride
    We are in the very same position as G From Northern Ireland but travelling on an Irish Passport from Dublin. We have been further frustrated by one Campsite we have booked now giving us 1 week to decide if we cancel otherwise we will not get another deferral nor refund.. I just wish someone would clarify things..Yes or No! If yes then not only what we need but how And where do we get it done...we are stuck in the middle of a political and pandemic quagmire in NI And No one seems willing or able to get us out of it.. A


  •  G
    2021-06-12 06:49:25
    France will not accept as proof of vaccine status, the card that UK vaccinated people living in Northern Ireland have. At present, unlike the other 3 nations, we cannot access a database or get a letter from any government body. We don’t fulfil the essential criteria for travel. A lot of us have dual nationality and have Irish passports, but as vaccination took place in UK, we cannot access the Irish database yet and.may not be able to for some time. We are in limbo and no one wants to help!


  •  Derek Mackey
    2021-06-11 03:12:59
    Derek Mackey
    Hi Zoe Can unvaccinated children from 11 - 17 (17 years old in our case) travel with parents if they have an antigen test? I cannot find any reference to unvaccinated children in the French documentation. Thank you. Kind regards Derek Mackey


  • Wendy Evans
    2021-06-06 01:44:52
    Wendy Evans
    We want to go to our second home in S France by the Shuttle on 16 June. Our last visit in Jan had to be extended due to travel restrictions so we returned to Britain on 27 March. Do you think that French border control would be sticky about letting us go back to our house 9 days earlier than 90 days. We really want to go before any more restrictive changes are made! We've tried to get a visa but they don't appear to be handling them at present at the London Consulate. Phoning and e-mailing proved fruitless also. We didn't want to stay as long as March using up precious days and with Covid, planning has become impossible


    • Zoë Smith
      2021-06-10 04:26:24
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Wendy, Check out our article on the 90/180-day rule for clarification, as you may find you are able to travel in June - it isn't calculated as you might think. However, if you have definitely used up your 90 days, I'm afraid you will not be able travel.