Foreign travel advice

France

Important COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Border controls

Since 20 March 2020 entry to France has been limited to those transiting through France, returning French nationals and residents, and a small number of essential travel categories. In order to enter France you will need to complete an international travel certificate, which certifies that your journey is essential. This travel certificate is available on the French Ministry of the Interior’s website. If entering France from the UK or certain other countries (including EU Member States) you will need to complete the travel certificate under “Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire vers la France métropolitaine depuis: l’Union Européenne et Andorre, Islande, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norvège, Saint-Marin, Suisse, Royaume-Uni, Vatican”. This certificate (in English) details the full list of essential travel categories permitted. This document needs to be produced for entry, along with any supporting paperwork. If you are entering or transiting through France, depending on your circumstances, you need to have:

  • an international ‘attestation’
  • a travel declaration to certify your reason for travel if your primary residence is more than 100km from your point of entry
  • a travel certificate if travelling in Île-de-France (Greater Paris) on public transport at peak hours (from 06h30 to 09h30 and from 16h00 to 19h00)

Border checks are also in place on the borders with Italy, Spain, Belgium and Germany.

Certificate requirements for travel within France

If you are returning to your primary residence in France and it is more than 100km from your point of entry, you will need to travel back by the most direct route and complete a travel declaration to certify your reason for travel. This certificate can be downloaded onto smartphones or handwritten if you are unable to access a printer.

If you are currently resident in France, travel within your department of residence or up to 100km from your place of residence is permitted without restrictions. Travel beyond 100km from your place of residence is only permitted for the urgent professional or family reasons listed on the travel declaration. You will need to complete a travel declaration to certify your reason for travelling. This certificate can be downloaded onto smartphones or handwritten if you are unable to access a printer.

To travel in Île-de-France (Greater Paris) on public transport at peak hours (from 06h30 to 09h30 and from 16h00 to 19h00) you will need to complete a travel certificate from your employer to certify your reason for travel. If you are not travelling for work, you will need to self-certify that you are travelling for one of the compelling reasons listed on the certification.

Check the relevant prefecture’s website for information on local travel restrictions.

Travel between the EU and non-European countries

On 16 March, the French Government announced that the EU would suspend travel between the EU and non-European countries for an initial period of 30 days, this remains in force until further notice.

Some countries are imposing a compulsory period of quarantine for travellers from France. If you are travelling from or through France, check the situation at your destination before you travel.

Travel between metropolitan France and French overseas territories

Regular flights between metropolitan France and its overseas territories - including Martinique, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, Guyana, La Reunion, French Polynesia, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthelemy - have been suspended since 23 March. Journeys between the islands are also prohibited, except in exceptional circumstances.

Regular entry requirements

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

Visas

If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter France. If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in France guide and contact the French Embassy if you have further questions.

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

Travelling with children

From 15 January 2017, any child (under the age of 18) who is (a) living in France and (b) leaving France unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, must present the following documents on departure at the French border: (i) the child’s own ID card or passport, (ii) a completed AST authorisation form signed by a parent/guardian (Authorisation de Sortie du Territoire) and (iii) a copy of the ID card or passport of the parent or guardian who has signed the AST form. For more information visit the French Ministry of Interior website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from France.