Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel
In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.
Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.
When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).
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
On 11 March, the French government announced it was easing restrictions on travel from the UK. From 12 March, arrivals no longer need to justify an essential reason to enter France. All other measures (such as the pre-departure testing requirement) remain in place and apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers. For further details, please see the Entry requirements
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 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. Arrivals from the UK who have visited non-European countries within the last 14 days remain subject to the requirement to evidence a compelling reason. 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. British citizens who are unable to return to the UK before the expiry of their visa/permit or the end of their visa-free limit due to COVID-19 restrictions should contact their local immigration authorities in France. 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. A national curfew is in place from 7pm to 6am, during which an attestation (self-certified document) is required to leave home. From 3 April, the whole of mainland France is subject to tighter restrictions, and attestations (self-certified documents) are required if you go further than 10km from your home. Non-essential shops are closed and from 5 April travel to other regions is banned, apart from in exceptional or professional circumstances. Attestations are available on the French Interior Ministry website and through the ‘Tous anti-Covid’ digital app. 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).