Passport and entry changes for France in 2023

EEC and ETIAS – changes to entry formalities into France and other EU countries from 2023

lices market

France – Post Brexit, post Pandemic..

After a break of nearly three years Team FFF made their first tour to France this September… Since our last proper tour Brexit has happened, and the Pandemic has come and nearly gone. What changes did we notice?

Firstly we noticed France is still France…. the beautiful countryside, villages and towns of character, weekly markets – almost all the ingredients that the francophile looks for are still there.

Maybe the traditional double kiss greetings are either less restrained or absent, but most English always found this a bit forward anyway! The attitude to masks is much the same as in the UK – the numbers using them in public now dwindled to a very small proportion.

Airports and public transport appear to have returned to the previous free-for-all with signage requesting separation and respect largely ignored, and no vaccination paperwork required or requested.

The Brexit requirements on passports meant that one of our team, with a passport issued in April 2013 but not expiring until August 2023 aroused a quick additional check – remember, EU are accepting passports valid 10 years FROM ISSUE DATE with 6 months validity at least remaining…… NOT 6 months validity remaining as previously. Check well in advance of your departure date.

Travelling without animals meant that we didn’t have to go through the more formal and more costly measures now required to take your pet abroad: Kennels may well now be a more economic option for many.

GHIC card

Likewise, we didn’t need to test our new GHIC Health cards – we welcome any feedback from our readers who have had to use their cards.

We guess the pandemic has been responsible for the increase in fast and takeaway foods: Many restaurants now offering ‘plats à emporter’ beside their eat in options, and quite an increase in the un-French pizza and burger takeaways. Similarly in the Supermarkets, ready meal offerings have expanded – but the delightful range of fresh foods sits steadfastly alongside and we hope that this will never change. It was a delight to visit a large Leclerc outlet on the outskirts of Toulouse to find giant cep mushrooms available straight from the wood – moss and dirt still attached. Ooooooh so tasty!!!!

And talking of supermarkets, it was a surprise to find that a good percentage of the supermarkets in small towns – particularly Intermarché – are now open right through lunchtime, instead of closing from 12 – 2 which had often been an annoyance if we were looking for a quick bite on the hoof!  First Sunday morning opening…. and now lunchtimes too… the fingers of New World commercialism continue to gradually invade the unique French charm and character.

This in turn only serves to increase the average age of those shopping at the markets, and our crystal ball is seeing a finite future for the marchés as we know them.  Hopefully something will happen to reverse this trend.

Our favourite photographers were kept at bay, despite the reduced speed limits on major roads. and although the situation is currently rather different, we enjoyed the cheaper and readily available fuel, thanks to French Government subsidies.

What is the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’?

What is the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’?

D-Day commemorations are taking place today, June 6th, across northern France, marking the 70th anniversary of an event that changed the course of the Second World War.  But what does D-Day actually mean?

When a military operation was in the planning stage, its actual date and time was not always known exactly. The term “D-Day” was therefore used to mean the date on which operations would begin, whenever that was to be. The day before D-Day was known as “D-1”, while the day after D-Day was “D+1”, and so on. This meant that if the projected date of an operation changed, all the dates in the plan did not also need to be changed.

This actually happened in the case of the Normandy Landings. D-Day in Normandy was originally intended to be on 5 June 1944, but at the last minute bad weather delayed it until the following day. The armed forces also used the expression “H-Hour” for the time during the day at which operations were to begin.

Described by wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as “undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place”, D-Day proved to be a pivotal moment of the Second World War.

It marked the start of an 80-day campaign to liberate Normandy, an operation that involved three million troops and cost some 250,000 lives.
Pegasus Bridge, courtesy of the Imperial War MuseumD-Day actually began just after midnight on 6 June 1944.  Six Horsa gliders carrying 181 men from the Glider Pilot Regiment landed silently to capture the strategically-vital bridges over the River Orne.  Landing gliders was tricky at the best of times, but to land at night had taken weeks of constant practice to ensure that it could go as well as possible.  The object of this action was to prevent German armour from crossing the bridges and attacking the eastern flank of the landings at Sword Beach.

Soldiers come ashore on the morning of June 6, 1944 and the rest, as they say, is history.

A re-enactment of the moment 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beach – one of five places where soldiers came ashore on June 6, 1944 – is likely to be one of the highlights of the day in Normandy today.


Pegasus Bridge.