French News

Travel in France

Covid-19 - Travel to and from France

Tuesday 06 April 2021

What are the restrictions on travel to and from France and within the country?

Travel to France from UK

Under UK government rules you are only permitted to leave the UK if you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Holidays are specifically not a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Permitted reasons to travel abroad are work and business, volunteering, education, family wedding or funeral, and medical or compassionate grounds for all of which proof is required.

In addition, you are also permitted to leave the UK to fulfil legal obligations or ‘to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property’.

If you are travelling from England, you will need to produce appropriate evidence and to complete a travel declaration form which you can download at: Declaration for International Travel.

Slightly different rules apply if you are travelling from Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland:

Within France

On the French side of the Channel foreign travellers and visitors are required to provide a sworn statement:

  • Certifying you are showing no symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19;
  • To agree undergo further testing on arrival if asked to do so;
  • To agree to voluntarily self-isolate for seven days and to undergo a PCR Covid test at the end of the isolation period (if demanded).

You can find the documentation at: Certificate of International Travel.

For those aged 11 years and above, you also need to produce a PCR Covid test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, showing negative.

You must self-isolate for seven days after your arrival if you arrive from a non-EU country, including the UK. You can self-isolate where you wish. Travel to France from many countries is not permitted.

You can read more in English about travel in France from the French government website at: Advice for Foreign Nationals in France.

Those coming from the UK should also read the guidance from the French Embassy in London at: COVID-19: Rules for Travel to France and the UK

On 31st March President Macron announced a national lockdown of the country, effective from 3rd April for 4 weeks. The travel restrictions are:

  • Travel from one region to another is prohibited, except for compelling reasons (work, training, health, public service mission, moving) and with an exemption certificate.
  • Travel within a 10 km radius of one's home (physical activities, walks) is authorised without a certificate, with a simple proof of address;
  • Travel beyond a 10 km radius of one's home, but still within the department of residence, is authorised on condition that an exemption certificate is presented for the following reasons: to buy or collect an order; to carry out administrative or legal formalities that cannot be carried out remotely; to go to a cultural establishment or a place of worship; to accompany one's children to school or to their extracurricular activities.

The government subsequently increased to 30 km the right to travel for outdoor sports activities, excepting individual sports.

One essential reason for travel is: “Moving home, change of residence or travel essential to the acquisition or rental of a principal residence, which cannot be postponed”. The list specifically excludes access to a holiday home.

The whole of France is also under a nationwide 7pm-6am curfew. Travel between 7pm and 6am is prohibited except for compelling reasons (work, training, health, mission of general interest, moving) and with an exemption certificate.

You can download the exemption certificate at Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire.

Return to UK

When you return to the UK you need to produce evidence of a negative Covid test taken no more than 3 days before departure.

You also need to complete a ‘passenger locator form’, which you can download at: Journey Contact Details.


You can sign up for UK government updates on travel to France at: Foreign Travel Sign-Up.

You can find regular French government updates in English of travel restrictions in France at: Covid-19 News.

13th April 2021

Sign up for the Newsletter

Delivered directly to your inbox every month

Popular Articles