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France – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions, New Limitations on U.K. Travellers

FR – Travel Restrictions, Policies for U.K. Travellers

In the context of the COVID-19 health situation in France, restrictions on travellers coming to (and leaving) mainland France and French overseas départements and territories have been put in place. And with the identification of a new strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, France has taken restrictive measures for travel from the United Kingdom. This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions to enter France due to the COVID-19 situation.

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This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions to enter France due to the COVID-19 situation.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

These travel restrictions may have a considerable impact on travellers and globally-mobile employees between France and other countries,2 potentially causing disruption, inconvenience, and changes in respect of travel plans.

Travel has been restricted since April 2020 (for prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-102, 24 March 2020).  New measures are being put in place for people travelling from the United Kingdom. 

These rules are updated regularly by the French government and it is advisable that travellers consult with their travel agents, global mobility professionals, and, if necessary, immigration counsel, when making plans to travel to or from France.

Context

In the context of the COVID-19 health situation in France, restrictions on travellers coming to (and leaving) mainland France and French overseas départements and territories have been put in place.

No Travel Restrictions for Passengers from EU Countries and Authorised Countries

Passengers travelling from European Union member states, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and The Vatican can enter France without any restrictions.

Furthermore, travellers from Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, and Singapore are permitted to enter France.

Travel Restrictions from a Country Identified as a COVID-19 “Spreading Zone”

Travel to mainland France from a country identified as a “COVID-19 circulation zone” remains strictly limited.

In authorised cases, all travellers are required to complete and hold a certificate (Attestation de déplacement et de voyage) indicating the reason for their trip.

Travel reasons have been added for the following categories:

  • French nationals, travelling with their spouse and children;
  • European Union nationals and nationals from Andorra, United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and The Vatican, whose primary residence is in France or are in transit through France to reach their country of origin or of primary residence, travelling with their spouse and children;
  • Third-country nationals, who are holders of a French or European residence permit or valid long-stay visa, with primary residence in France, or in transit through France to their residence in the European Union or its assimilated countries;
  • Third-country nationals, in transit for less than 24 hours in an international zone;
  • Holders of an official passport; 
  • Foreign nationals employed by diplomatic or consular bodies or international organisations whose headquarters or offices are located in France as well as their spouse and children, or foreign nationals staying in France on assignment on behalf of their home country;
  • Foreign health-care workers to help fight against COVID-19 or recruited as interns to assist;
  • Foreign flight and cargo personnel as part of a crew or travelling as passenger to their departure base;
  • Foreign nationals responsible for the international carriage of goods;
  • Drivers or crew members of a passenger train or bus;
  • Crew members or personnel working on a merchant or fishing ship;
  • Students with long-term visas (VLS), short-term visa (VCS) to study, or do an internship (“Examination/test” short-stay visa not included) or coming for less than 90 days from a country exempted from VCS, or minors attending school and holding a proof of residence in France;
  • Teachers or researchers employed or invited by a French educational institution or research lab, travelling for teaching or research purposes;
  • Teachers or researchers employed or invited by a French educational institution or research lab, travelling for teaching or research purposes;
  • Third-country nationals with a long-stay talent visa “passeport talent” or intra-corporate transfer visa, travelling with their spouse and children;
  • Foreign nationals coming to France for medical care in a public or private hospital.

In addition, travellers must also complete and obtain a “declaration of honour” (Déclaration sur l’honneur) certifying that they do not show symptoms of COVID-19 infection and can prove a negative "COVID RT-PCR" test has been carried out less than 72 hours before the departure.

Please note that upon entering/returning to France, the French authorities can direct travellers to a screening checkpoint in order to take a new test.

Furthermore, the following travellers may be asked to quarantine or remain in isolation upon arrival:

  • Travellers with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival in France;
  • Travellers who, upon arrival, cannot show the results of a virology test carried out less than 72 hours before flying which proves that the traveller does not have COVID-19.

United Kingdom

In response to the identification of a new strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, France has taken restrictive measures for travel from the United Kingdom.  Until at least 6 January 2021, U.K.-France cross-border travel is limited.

Only certain categories of people are authorised to travel to France or to transit there from the U.K., provided they have a travel certificate (Attestation de déplacement et de voyage).

For example, the following categories of people are authorised to enter France from the U.K.:

  • French nationals;
  • British nationals residing in France, or who are transiting to their EU member state of residence, or who move to establish their residence there at the latest on 31 December 2020;
  • People who need to travel for a professional reason.

All travellers from the U.K. are required to present:

  • a complete and signed certificate indicating the reason for their trip;
  • a declaration of honour certifying that they do not present any symptoms of COVID-19 infection and that they are not aware of having been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19 in the 14 days preceding the travel;

a negative "COVID RT-PCR" test carried out less than 72 hours before the departure (if the result of a PCR test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding does not conclude that the traveller is not contaminated by COVID-19, antigen tests are also authorised (the list of which is published by the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health)).  

FOOTNOTES

1  See the website of the Ministry of the Interior (Ministère de l'Intérieure), at: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-et-de-voyage .

2  See also “Conseils aux Voyageurs” at: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/ .

Also see the French government webpage “Loisirs / Vacances” at: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/loisirs .

Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in France.

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Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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