France is opening its doors to international travellers. From 11 March travellers arriving from the UK and seven other non-EU countries will no longer need to have a “compelling reason” to visit.
You will, however, need a negative Covid-19 test result to hand – including children 11 years and older – taken no longer than 72 hours prior to departure and a travel certificate at the border.
French borders have been closed since 31 January to all travel from outside the EU to limit the spread of other Covid-19 variants. The only exception was for those who had a valid reason including caring for relatives or business.
According to a statement released by the foreign ministry, visitors are now welcome from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the UK.
The ministry statement said:
“After the introduction of motif impérieux (compelling reasons) for travel outside the European area, this regime is amended to take account of international epidemic developments and to add a number of emergency situations that constitute compelling reasons”.
More countries will be added to the exemption list in due course.
There are still Covid-led restrictions in France. Though travel between regions is now possible, restaurants and cafes are closed, along with cinemas, theatres and museums.
Britons are not legally allowed to leave the UK until at least May 17 unless there is an essential reason. Anyone returning to the UK will need to take a test no more than 72 hours before returning to the UK, and then a further two tests after you return (on day 2 and day 8), at a cost of £210 per person.
Getting to France is relatively easy as airlines are operating limited flights to France. Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and Vueling are among the airlines with flights. The Channel Tunnel is open and Eurotunnel has been operating a service between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord throughout the pandemic.