Foreign travel advice

France

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Summary

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all but essential travel to France (including Corsica). This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Check separate travel advice pages for overseas territories of France.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in France during recent weeks, with a significant number of French departments now at ‘heightened vulnerability’. In a number of areas, the French Government have brought in extra measures as a consequence. Check local guidance for more information.

The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in France to leave at this time. You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Contact your travel operator if you have any questions about your return journey.

If you are returning to the UK from France on or after 15 August, you will need to self-isolate on your return, unless exempt. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The guidance includes information on the rules if you’re transiting through France from another country to reach the UK.

Travel to France is subject to entry restrictions

  • Arrivals by sea and air routes 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.
  • Although there is no restriction on travel from the UK and most European countries, travel from most non-European countries is subject to entry restrictions.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to France, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

The Department for Transport and the FCDO have jointly published separate guidance for the freight transport industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

A number of demonstrations have been taking place across major cities in France.

If demonstrations do turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie presence is to be expected. In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.

The UK has left the European Union. The rules on travel to EU countries will stay the same until 31 December 2020. This page will be updated with country-specific information for travellers to France as things change. Sign up for email alerts and view the latest updates for UK nationals travelling to and living in Europe.

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pickpocketing. See Crime

If you’re living in France, visit our Living in France guide in addition to this travel advice.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

There remain some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. There have been instances of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if isn’t safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).

All vehicles, including motorbikes, driving in central Paris, Lyon and Grenoble now need to display a special ‘pollution sticker’. See Road travel

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

The emergency phone number in France is 112. If you need to contact other emergency services, call 15 (medical), 17 (police) or 18 (fire).