Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- the whole of France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Check separate travel advice pages for overseas territories of France.
Travel to France is subject to entry restrictions
- France announced they would be restricting travel to and from France from non-EU countries from 31 January 2021. Travel will only be permitted for essential reasons. For further details, please see the Entry Requirements page.
- There have been restrictions in place for travel from the UK since 20 December 2020. Travel restrictions apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers. If you are due to travel to France please contact your travel operator. Only the following categories of people are authorised to travel to France from the UK:
- French nationals and nationals of the European Area and their spouses and children
- British and/or third country nationals who are either habitually resident in France, the European Union or the European Area, or who must travel for certain essential reasons (as set out in the criteria for exemptions listed on the international travel certificate). For travel to France from the UK, this can be found under the tab ‘Travel to/from a country outside the European Area’. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for an essential reason not listed on the international travel certificate. For further details, please see the French Embassy London’s website
- All travellers from the UK, including children aged 11 and above, will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR only), carried out less than 72 hours before departure. Arrivals will also be required to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival, before taking another PCR test.
- Arrivals from the UK will need to complete both 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, and a signed ‘travel certificate’ (attestation), confirming their reason for travel. These can be found on the French government’s website.
- You should check our COVID-19 advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel. Further updates will be published when they are available.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
- check if you need to self-isolate on your return
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
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 health situation in France remains severe. From 16 January, a national curfew is in place from 6pm to 6am. These measures may change at short notice either at national or at local level. Some areas have introduced additional restrictions in response to a rise in cases. You should check local guidance for further information. Attestations (i.e. self-certified documents) to leave the house during curfew are available on the French Interior Ministry website and through the digital app ‘Tous anti-Covid’. You can find information and guidance from the French government regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease COVID-19 in France on the French government’s COVID-19 pages.
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.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
There are rules about taking food and drink into the EU. See Taking food and drink into the EU for further information.
On 29 October the French Prime Minister increased France’s national security threat level to “urgent” following a terrorist incident in Nice. You should be vigilant at this time and follow the advice of local authorities.
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.
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).