France is banning tourism and professional arrivals from the UK effective at midnight on Saturday (December 18, 2021).
The ban includes fully vaccinated but excludes French citizens and EU nationals, and I would also assume third-country nationals with residence permits within EU/EEA/Schengen. Those allowed to enter from the UK need to have a predeparture PCR-RT test and quarantine upon arrival in France with a test to release on day two.
You can access France’s update for UK arrivals here.
LATEST – Change of rules from 18 December onwards
From Saturday 18 December 2021 (0.00) onwards, the following rules will apply to all people travelling from the United Kingdom, whether or not they are vaccinated:
- Both non-vaccinated and vaccinated people will be required to have a compelling reason to travel to or from the UK. These reasons will be listed in the annex and at the following address: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-et-de-voyage. People will not be permitted to travel as tourists or for professional reasons. Being French is a compelling reason to return to France. French people’s partners (spouses, PACS partners or cohabiting partners (on presentation of proof of cohabitation)) and their children will still be able to travel to France.
- Vaccinated people will have to present on departure a negative PCR or TAG test less than 24 hours old.
- Before they travel, anyone coming from the UK will be required to register on a digital platform allowing them, among other things, to state the address for their stay in France. This platform will generate prefectoral orders requiring all non-vaccinated and vaccinated travellers to isolate in their chosen place. This requirement to isolate can be lifted after 48 hours, on condition that a negative PCR or TAG test is proven.
Checks will be organized to ensure these measures are properly implemented.
The Government also calls on people who were planning to travel to the UK to postpone their trips.
N.B. Self-administered tests whose results are not certified by a laboratory (e.g. free tests provided by the NHS) are not authorized for travel. The NHS has stated that it will not carry out any tests for the purposes of travel. People should therefore use private organizations providing a similar service. No specific tests exist which are linked to the new variant identified.
Pre-departure tests carried out on French territory may be used for your return to France if they comply with the time criteria (less than 24 hours old) and contain the necessary information (type of test, date and time, name of laboratory, your full name and date of birth etc.).
N.B. We also strongly advise you to contact your travel operator to find out more about their travel requirements.
Here’s an excerpt from the France 24:
From midnight Saturday (2300 GMT Friday) there will be a “requirement to have an essential reason to travel to, or come from, the UK, both for the unvaccinated and vaccinated… People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons,” the government said in a statement.
In addition, returning travellers will need a negative test less than 24 hours old, and a blanket quarantine would be enforced on return to France.
“People (coming back) will have to register on an app and will have to self-isolate in a place of their choosing for seven days — controlled by the security forces — but this can be shortened to 48 hours if a negative test is carried out in France,” he said.
This ban doesn’t do much in terms of trying to prevent spreading the Omicron covid-variant, as it already is in France.
There have been many changes to entry and test requirements in the past few weeks in Europe (I am heading there tonight for a month), and I assume that these continue until we get past the winter that will be very difficult in the continent if the current infection rates are any indication.