Holidays France coronavirus update

Coronavirus Update Holidays to France 

The UK is currently in a national lockdown due to COVID-19, with essential travel only being allowed. You must not leave your home unless necessary (for exercise / shopping / medical requirements etc).

On February 22nd, the UK Government outlined its 4-Step process to coming out of lockdown and restoring normal life.

Step 3, which is ‘no earlier than 17 May’ is the date that international travel can resume. However this is subject to the Governments criteria being met.

France has not yet confirmed a similar plan, we will update this as soon as we know more.

The UK 4 Step Process

Feb 2021 covid guidelines step 1 & 2
Feb 2021 covid guidelines step 3 & 4

International travel

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination.

Travel to France

Travel to France is subject to entry restrictions

  • France announced they would be restricting travel to and from France from non-EU countries from 31 January 2021. Travel will only be permitted for essential reasons.
  • There have been restrictions in place for travel from the UK since 20 December 2020. Travel restrictions apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers. If you are due to travel to France please contact your travel operator. Only the following categories of people are authorised to travel to France from the UK:
  1. French nationals and nationals of the European Area and their spouses and children
  2. British and/or third country nationals who are either habitually resident in France, the European Union or the European Area, or who must travel for certain essential reasons (set out in the criteria for exemptions listed on the exempted international travel certificate). For further details, please see the French Embassy London’s website
  • All travellers from the UK, including children aged 11 and above, will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR only), carried out less than 72 hours before departure. Arrivals will also be required to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival, before taking another PCR test.
  • Arrivals from the UK will need to complete both a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight, and a signed ‘travel certificate’ (attestation), confirming their reason for travel. These can be found on the French government’s website.
  • You should check the COVID-19 advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel. Further updates will be published when they are available.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

check if you need to self-isolate on your return

Domestic travel in France

Local lockdown in Alpes-Maritimes

As of February 26, a curfew is in force at weekends (from 6pm on Fridays to 6am on Mondays) in Alpes-Maritimes, extending from Théoule-sur-Mer to Menton. Travel is not allowed within this area, unless for certain compelling reasons and on condition of showing a certificate.

As of February 23, shops and businesses of over 5,000 square metres, except pharmacies and food stores, are closed throughout the Alpes-Maritimes department. Border controls have also been stepped up.

National curfew

A curfew between 6pm and 6am is currently in place across France.

Leaving home and travelling around is prohibited during curfew hours, under penalty of a fine of €135, and up to €3,750 in the event of a repeat offence.

Public transport is still running in order to meet the needs of key workers, but working from home where possible remains strongly recommended.

All establishments currently authorised to open are required to close to the public at 6pm.

Cultural establishments, as well as bars and restaurants, remain closed.

As of February 1, non-food shops of over 20,000 m² are closed as a precautionary measure. New capacity gauges are also coming into force in all supermarkets and shops.

Travel is therefore prohibited during the curfew period, except in the following cases and upon presentation of a certificate:

To go to a place of work, training or exercise;
For medical appointments that cannot be provided remotely, or to purchase medication;
For compelling family reasons (e.g. to provide assistance to a loved one);
Upon judicial or administrative summons;
To carry out a public service;
For people with disabilities and their caregivers;
In rail or air transit for long-distance trips;
To take your pet out within a one-kilometre radius of your home.
Authorisation certificates can be downloaded or completed online on the Ministry of the Interior website (External link) . Certificates are also available from the Tous Anti Covid (External link) app.

Inter-regional travel is permitted, but overseas travel remains subject to providing a negative Covid-19 test result less than 72 hours old. Travellers to Corsica are required to provide a signed ‘declaration of honour’ (sworn statement) to the transport company upon boarding. See further information on Corsica below.

Useful links:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france