France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published new rules for people visiting France from the UK. These special rules will come into effect on December 18th, 2021. 

The French government has basically forbidden tourism and business travel from the United Kingdom. From now on, British nationals and residents coming to France will need to prove a “pressing ground” for travel, such as being a refugee or having a recent death in the family (of a direct relative who is a French national or resident) or the need of visiting a close family member in a critical health condition. 

In these cases, the documentation required to prove the situation is a death certificate or a medical certificate of the sick relative, as well as a document that serves as evidence of the family relationship between the British citizen and the French citizen. Refugees and stateless people should have a long-stay visa issued on the grounds of family reunification, instead.

Other pressing grounds are related to the traveler’s profession:

  • Students enrolled in French as a foreign language (FLE) courses.
  • Land, sea, and air transport workers, as well as transport service providers.
  • Diplomats and their families (while on a mission).
  • Healthcare professionals and researchers.
  • Etc.

Last but not least, there’s the most obvious pressing ground: being a French national living in the United Kingdom. French nationals and their families are always enabled to travel to France. 

If the traveler can present evidence of any of these pressing grounds for travel, the next step for him or her is to take a PCR test or an antigen test one day before arrival in France so that he or she can show a negative result at the French border. This norm usually applies to unvaccinated people traveling to France but as a preventive measure, it will also be applied to people coming from the UK.

People coming from the United Kingdom should also register on the French digital platform éOS-COVID, and self-isolate upon arrival for at least 48 hours in any place they want as long as they can provide the address for that place during the registration on the éOS-COVID platform. Again, travel quarantine is obligatory even if the traveler is fully immunized with an approved vaccine. 

After two days of travel quarantine, the traveler can take a new PCR or antigen test to prove that he or she is not sick. 

These stricter rules come right after the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, which includes a number of hospital admissions linked to it and the first Omicron-related death registered in British territory. 

The French government warned that there will be controls to ensure compliance with these new norms. It has also announced in the past that it would allow the movement of travelers between France and other countries under terms and conditions “that will vary according to the health status of these countries and the vaccination status of travelers”. 

This is a measure that came into effect on June 9th, 2021. 

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