France Travel Update: Restrictions Eased for UK and Six Others
The French government announced on 11 March it was lifting the requirement that meant only those people with “essential reasons” to travel to the UK were permitted to make the trip.
Restrictions were also eased for travel to or from six other countries including Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
Since December and the emergence of the so-called “UK variant” of COVID-19, travel between France and the UK has been extremely limited, with people only able to travel if they fit a very short list of criteria, including the death of a family member.
And since 31 January, all travel outside the EU without a valid excuse has been banned to limit the spread of other COVID-19 variants.
However, on Thursday the Foreign Ministry announced the relaxation of the rules on a number of destinations outside the EU, including the UK.
The government said due to the widespread presence of the English variant of the virus in France, the restrictions were no longer necessary.
The new travel regime comes into place on Friday, 12 March and means people can travel between France and the UK for any reason – although they will still have to present a negative COVID test and travel certificate at the border.
After the introduction of motif impérieux (compelling reasons) for travel outside the European area, this regime is amended to take account of international epidemic developments and to add a number of emergency situations that constitute compelling reasons.
In a decree to be published on Friday, March 12th, it will no longer be necessary to justify a compelling reason for travel to or from Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore, due to the widespread presence of the ‘UK variant’ in France and the specific health situation in these countries.French ministry
More than 60 percent of all COVID cases in France are now the ‘UK variant’ of the virus.
People wishing to travel to or from a non-EU destination not listed above will still need to provide compelling motive for their trip, but the list of accepted reasons has been widened to include:
- Couples who are married or in a civil partnership where one of the members is living abroad for professional reasons
- Minor children attending school in France while the family home is established abroad
- Couples with children, one living in France, the other abroad and separated.
- Students taking a competitive examination
- Returning to a main residence in France
Anyone travelling to France needs to present a negative PCR COVID test taken within the previous 72 hours and fill in a declaration stating that they have no COVID symptoms.
There is no compulsory quarantine for arrivals in France, but people coming from a non-EU country are asked to self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. This can be done at an address of their choice.
Anyone who wants to travel should also check travel rules in the country they are travelling to, since many countries have compulsory testing requirements for arrivals from France.
Anyone going to the UK from France needs to quarantine on arrival and buy a travel test package, while travel from the UK is currently strictly limited by lockdown rules.
Travel Could Resume
International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief, Alexandre de Juniac, also made waves on 11 Mar when he made a prediction that holiday-deprived people could possibly start flying again from May or June 2021.
IATA said that it planned to work with 33 states and territories around the world on border reopening and international flights, to address the pent-up demand for air travel.
It currently has 290 global carrier members, including French national carrier Air France, and represents 82 per cent of global traffic.
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