Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from October 2021



Travel Between France and the UK: New Rules from October 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

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 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 October 4th 2021, the rules for entry (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 travel test before arrival (The costs of these vary, so it’s worth shopping around, but expect to pay at least £50 per test). Travellers arriving before October 24th must take a PCR test. Travellers arriving on or after October 24th can choose to take a PCR or an antigen (lateral flow) test. Both MUST be booked before you travel via the government webiste (see the link above).
  • 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)

On arrival in the UK, you do not need to quarantine, but:

  • You must take the pre-booked COVID-19 test on day 2. 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.

**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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  • 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!! :)