Can I transit through France? Rules on travelling by car from UK as France tightens restrictions for visitors

The French government has introduced new restrictions on travel between France and the UK as concern over the Indian variant continues to grow

Restrictions on travel between France and the UK have been tightened by the French government due to concerns over the Indian variant.

The move comes after French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated last week that further restrictions would be introduced.

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Can I transit through France? Rules on travelling by car from UK as France tightens restrictions for visitors (Photo: Shutterstock)

What are the new rules on travel from the UK to France?

New rules put in place by the French government mean that as of today (31 May) the only people allowed to enter France from the UK are foreign nationals, EU nationals and people travelling for essential reasons.

Official travel advice on the government’s website states that the new rules apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers.

It also states: “Arrivals from the UK who are resident in France may need to show proof of residence. Those who are not French residents or EU nationals will need an essential reason to travel and to complete an International Travel Certificate.

“Arrivals from the UK will need to complete 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.

“The French government strongly advises limiting international travel to a minimum.”

You can find further information on the French government’s website.

Can you transit through France to the UK under the new rules?

While the new rules mean that all but essential travel to France is now allowed, what about travel through France?

Anyone who needs to travel through France for work will be able to do so, following the guidance above, and anyone who needs to return home from holiday through France will be able to, as this is considered an essential reason to travel.

However, it is not entirely clear what the rules are in relation to travelling through France on holiday from the UK, to a country like Portugal, for instance.

There are two existing lists of acceptable reasons to enter France under existing restrictions, which were also in place during a period of heightened Covid travel restrictions between France and the UK at the beginning of the year.

It is not clear yet which list will apply to the UK, or if new measures will be drawn up, but both existing lists of reasons would allow for transit through France.

Both lists include the following reasons;

- People working in the land, sea and air transport sector or transport service providers, including drivers of any vehicle carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those who are merely transiting

- People transiting in France who remain in the airport/international zone for a maximum of 24 hours

What are the UK government’s rules on travel to and from France?

The UK is currently operating a ‘traffic light’ system of travel restrictions, with countries ranked as either ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’.

France is on the UK’s amber list, which means the UK government advises against all but essential travel to the country.

As well as the entry requirements stipulated by the French government, the UK government will require anyone returning from France to self-isolate for 10 days and take two Covid tests.

There is due to be a review of the countries on the travel lists for England on 7 June, which will likely be closed followed by an announcement by the Welsh government.

Which countries are on the ‘green’ list?

Advice from the UK government currently states that people can travel to countries on the ‘green list,’ so long as they follow certain rules.

The government’s advice states that before returning from a green list country, you should

- Take a COVID-19 test

- Book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England

- Complete a passenger locator form

On arrival in England, you must then take a COVID-19 test on or before day two after you arrive. Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test, and you won’t need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

The list of countries currently on the government’s green list are:

Australia Brunei Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Gibraltar Iceland Israel and Jerusalem New Zealand Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira) Singapore South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha