Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from October 4th



Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from October 4th

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

From June 9th, France has a traffic light classification system for travel. The UK is currently classed as an Orange country, which means that travellers from the UK who are fully vaccinated can once again travel without needing an essential reason to travel. You do not need to take a Covid test, but you  must present a sworn declaration that you have no symptoms and proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated children are able to travel if accompanying vaccinated parents.

However, non-vaccinated travellers will still need to have an essential reason or ‘motif imperieux’ to travel. You can find the full list of essential reasons for travel from the UK to France here, but they do not include second-home owners visiting their French property, property buyers, or those who wish to visit friends and family in France.

Find out everything you need to know about France’s Traffic Light System for Travel here.

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

UK Travel Rules

The UK is also operating a ‘traffic light’ system with different rules applying to countries on the ‘green’, ‘amber’, and ‘red’ lists. France is currently on the Amber list.

Vaccinated Travellers Entering the UK

As of September 2021, the rules for entry (or returning) to the UK for vaccinated travellers** from an Amber country such as France are as follows:

  • You must present your EU Covid Certificate (available on France’s Heath Pass) or vaccination certificate.
  • You must present a negative COVID-19 test taken a maximum of 72 hours before your flight departure.
  • You must book and pay for 1 x COVID-19 travel test before arrival (The costs of these vary, so it’s worth shopping around, but expect to pay around £100 per test).
  • You must present a completed passenger locator form
  • On arrival in the UK, you do not need to quarantine, but:
  • You must take a COVID-19 test on day 2 (you do not need to take a test on day 8)

*Note: pre-travel tests do not apply for children under 10, but children over the age of 4 must take the day 2 tests.

**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.

Relaxed Rules From October 4th

The UK has announced that from 04.00am October 4th, the traffic light system will be replaced with a single red list, with relaxed rules for all other countries, including France and the rest of the EU. Vaccinated travellers from green list countries will no longer have to take a pre-departure test. Day 2 tests will still need to be taken, but from the end of October, they will no longer need to be PCR tests, meaning you can opt for a cheaper antigen test. It’s not clear yet whether you will still need to book these Day 2 tests in advance, so watch this space!

The rules for unvaccinated travellers will remain the same.

Unvaccinated travellers entering the UK

  • You must present a negative COVID-19 test taken a maximum of 72 hours before your flight departure.
  • You must book and pay for 2 x COVID-19 travel tests before arrival
  • You must present a completed passenger locator form
  • On arrival in the UK, you must ‘quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days’, and
  • You must 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 Red, Amber, and Green countries.

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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  •  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?


  • Jon Henn
    2021-09-22 09:06:36
    Jon Henn
    Very confused by the article above. You state categorically that people with two mixed vaccines administered in France will not be considered as fully vaccinated in England after 4 Oct 2021. This is surely not the message on the website? Please check your facts and only provide accurate information before you print. There is enough confusion and frustration due to the situation already without any added "fake news".


  • 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


  • steve hodges
    2021-08-01 01:37:17
    steve hodges
    Your website is giving incorrect information. In the link that you provide to the site for entry requirements to France is states, ',... From 18 July, fully vaccinated adults no longer need to present evidence of a negative test result before travel.' It also states the same information clearly in a chart on the Consulate General of France in London site: Please ensure that you are providing the most current correct up to date information or your site cannot be trusted.


  • 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.


  • Alex
    2021-07-13 10:52:57
    I read a lot of posts but the topic covered in this is the most comprehensive & helpful. We are here to provide you our best services about Novelty bank statements. So that if you need any help about online bank statement editor. This professional editor will help you quickly. You can call us at: LiveChat:$_tawk_popout=true Call / Message on WhatsApp : +1 914 274 8666 Contact: (+1) 914 202 3836 Email: [email protected] Website:


  • 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.