France is currently on the UK’s amber list, but ministers are considering moving the country to the red list due to the spread of the Beta variant, first found in South Africa, according to reports.
Here’s what you need to know.
Will France go on the red list?
A source told the Telegraph that the possibility of putting France on the red list was discussed at a meeting as part of a review into international travel, with the country currently having much higher levels of the Beta variant than other countries in Europe.
There have been 5,829,724 Covid infections and 111,413 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.
If the country is added to the red list it will mean travellers returning to the UK will be required to complete hotel quarantine for 10 days.
You will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.
You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated.
Before travel to the UK from a red list country you must:
- take a Covid-19 test
- book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 Covid-19 tests
- complete a passenger locator form
On arrival, you must then quarantine in a managed hotel and will be required to take two Covid-19 tests
A government source said: “They are worried about the South African variant because they think it escapes the vaccine, although they don’t have evidence of that yet.
“It appears to be why a lot of countries in Africa and the Middle East are on the red list despite low prevalence rates.”
What are the current rules for travellers returning to the UK from France?
France is currently on the UK’s amber list, which means travellers are required to self-isolate for a period of 10 days on return.
It has been announced that from Monday 19 July if you are returning from an amber list country you will not need to quarantine on arrival in England or take a day eight Covid-19 test, as long as you:
- have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme
- have not been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England
Fully vaccinated means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the date you arrive in England.
You will still need to book a day two test to take when you arrive in England, declare that you have been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form and show proof of your vaccination status to your carrier.
However, the Government has stated that these new rules will not apply to those returning from France.
In an update to the travel rules, the Government states: “The changes to the amber list rule for fully UK vaccinated people will not apply to France.
“If you have been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in England and take day two and day eight Covid-19 tests.
"When you complete your passenger locator form you must choose ‘No / Prefer not to say’ when asked if you are exempt from the requirement to quarantine and take a day eight tests.
"This is under the section of the form titled ‘Your coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination status’.”
What are the entry requirements for France?
The UK is also currently on France’s amber list. Entry requirements are different depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
Unvaccinated - or not fully vaccinated - arrivals in France from countries on the French amber list will only be permitted to travel for essential reasons.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 7 days after arrival, then take another PCR test following this period of self-isolation.
Travellers who are fully vaccinated do not need an essential reason to travel to France and do not need to self-isolate on arrival.
Children under the age of 18 years old, who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will be exempt from requirements to self-isolate and provide an essential reason for travel, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.