More than eight and a half million Brits visit France every year, but this year is an exception. Coronavirus has shaken up the foundations of travel as we know it and could mean 2020 holidays are off the cards. Here’s all you need to know about travelling to France from the UK.
Is France still in lockdown?
Last week, France relaxed its lockdown. They call this “déconfinement”, which translates roughly to “un-lockdown”.
Prior to this, the French had to carry an attestation to prove who they were and what they were doing out of their homes.
Now, residents can leave their homes as much as they want for whatever reason.
However, those in France are only allowed to travel up to 100 kilometres from their home, and gatherings are limited to 10 people.
Around 20 percent of primary school children went back to school, and shops, commercial centres, and hairdressers reopened.
Public transport is becoming more frequent, but the rush-hour Metro in Paris is limited to workers with the correct paperwork.
Bars and restaurant in the ‘green zone’, where the virus is less prominent, may be reopening on June 2. More information will be released on this at the end of this month.
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Am I allowed to travel to France?
At present, the UK Foreign Office (FCO) is still warning against all but essential international travel.
The site says: “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.”
Even if this advice changed, France is not allowing tourists in to the country for the foreseeable future.
Non-Europeans (not including Brits) who are allowed to enter the country will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. This will last until at least July 24.
You will need to meet a certain criteria to be allowed in. This includes healthcare workers engaged in coronavirus-related care, commercial good carriers like lorry drivers, diplomatic staff, and cross-border workers.
Permanent residents of EU countries, like France, will be also able to cross the UK/France border into France, as long as they have proof of residence.
UK nationals can also enter France, if this is they normally live there for most of the year (it is your primary residence).
On entering France, you must complete an attestation at the border, confirming that you are making a necessary journey.
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Are there still flights to France? What about Eurostar?
Yes, there are both flights and Eurostar services running between the UK and France.
British Airways is still flying from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Air France is also flying over the English Channel, and all passengers are required to wear a mask.
A thermal test will be undertaken on every passenger, too.
Ryanair may also be flying again to France in July, but it is not certain which airports this will be between.
Eurostar is still in action between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord, and passengers now have to wear face masks.
The Eurotunnel and ferries are also running, but service is extremely limited. You must have a good reason for entering the country, no matter how you get there.
When can I go to France?
Travel to France is doubly restricted by the FCO and the French Government.
You won’t be able to travel to France for a holiday until the advice changes.
The end of July has been put forward by experts as the earliest date to jet off to France.
It wouldn’t be a regular holiday, either, with travellers would probably be required to quarantine for two weeks when arriving in France, and also on return to the UK.
France has enforced a 14-day quarantine for those arriving into the country from outside of the EU or Schengen zone countries.
Spain has also put in place a compulsory quarantine for all arrivals from Europe and France.
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