Many Brits residing in France would like to know if they can travel back to the UK during the current confinement.
There are a few circumstances where this is possible, but the general answer to this question is no. During the first confinement, travel was not permitted for leisure reasons and this remains the same for the current lockdown.
Many would like to go back to visit family and friends during these difficult times, but this is not a valid reason for travel, despite the fact that borders do remain open (the UK still being in the EU until the end of the year).
See below some examples of when travel back to the UK is permitted:
- Imperative family reasons (for example care responsibilities, death of a family member, or serious illness of a family member)
- A close family member’s funeral
- Essential work-related trips
- Education reasons
- Urgent hospital or medical visits
Whilst travelling through France to the UK, you will need to carry the French declaration form which states your reason for moving around within France. You can find the relevant forms here – they are also available in digital format for mobile phones: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestations-de-deplacement
You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if returning to the UK from France and will also need to provide a document showing travel details and a UK address where you will be staying. The link to the form required by the UK is here: https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk This form should be completed before arrival in the UK.
You should also carry any documents you may have that prove the urgent reason for travel, including travel tickets, hospital appointments etc.
Ultimately the ‘gendarmes’ or police will decide if the reason you give to travel is valid or not.
If you are a visitor to France (not a permanent resident) and you want to go back to your main home in the UK, this is also permitted and should be stated on the form.
When returning to France, do not forget to complete another French travel exemption declaration form upon arrival.