Written by Christopher Nye, Senior Content Editor, Property Guides
Last Modified: 15th March 2022

France has lifted some of its restrictions on travellers from the UK. Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK to France can once again visit for leisure reasons and no longer need to provide a negative Covid test before travel.

Before making any firm plans to visit France, do check the many websites including this English-language version from the French government.

 

Download your comprehensive France Buying Guide for everything you need to know about purchasing a property there.

The health situation in France

Covid cases started to fall in February, however, they are now rising again due to restrictions being lifted. As of March 14, in the past 7 days the country recorded 681 cases (per 100,000 population).

In comparison, in the UK recorded 623 cases in the last 7 days (per 100,000 population).

At the time of writing, almost 80% of the French population have received two vaccinations and around 57% have received a third booster jab.

France has lifted working from home guidance, leaving it to the discretion of employers and workers as to whether working from home is necessary.

Facemasks are no longer required, apart from on public transport. However, the local authorities can re-introduce mask wearing if necessary.

Limits to gatherings in crowds have ended and bars, restaurants and nightclubs have reopened as normal. Concerts can also take place again. The vaccine pass has been scrapped for most establishments, meaning that there is no longer an obligation to be vaccinated in order to enter venues.

Facemasks remain obligatory in all public indoor areas.

France’s vaccine pass

The French government has now scrapped the need to show a vaccine pass to enter most establishments. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, nightclubs, theatres, transport and so on, can be accessed without showing proof of vaccination.

However, the vaccine pass will still be required to enter hospitals, care homes and other establishments that tend to vulnerable people.

 

Read your Emigration Guide to find out everything you need to know about moving abroad.

France’s current health pass

When you travel to France, download the #TousAntiCovid app. When loading it, this should automatically detect you’re in the UK and set the language accordingly.

Effectively it is the same as the UK’s NHS covid-19 app, detecting people around you who have tested positive, but also showing your vaccine status.

The pass must prove the following:

• That you are fully vaccinated (with an EMA-approved vaccine):
o Two weeks after the second shot for two-shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
o Four weeks after the shot for one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
o A booster shot if you had your second dose more than four months ago.

o For people who have already had COVID-19 only one dose is necessary. If you had Covid after getting two shots but before getting the booster, you can use your positive test result in place of a booster shot for six months.

 

Passes can be digital (on the TousAntiCovid app) or in paper form (proof of vaccination or test result). They must be presented in English or French.

Rules for those travelling from UK to France

France has recently eased restrictions on vaccinated UK travellers to France.

Now, fully vaccinated travellers must:

  • Fill in a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying that you are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
  • Provide proof of vaccination –  your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 7 days prior to travel for Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or 28 days after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must:

  • Show a negative PCR taken in the last 72 hours or antigen test taken in the last 48 hours if aged 12 and over.
  • Fill in a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying that you are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
  • Fill in an international travel form to prove the reason for your essential travel.

Rules for those travelling from France to UK

If you are fully vaccinated, from March 18:

  • You no longer have to take a pre-departure test before travelling to the UK
  • You do not have to self-isolate upon your return
  • You do not need to take any COVID-19 tests
  • You no longer need to complete a passenger locator form before you travel

If you are not fully vaccinated:

  • You are no longer required to take a COVID-19 test
  • You no longer need to complete a passenger locator form before you travel

 

For a smooth move to France, you need to make sure that your budget is protected to reduce risk from exchange rate flux. Find out how in our partner Smart Currency Exchange’s guide, The Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.

 

Unvaccinated people from the UK must give a compelling reason to be admitted into metropolitan France

What does this mean for buying property?

Estate agents have been extremely busy last year and this year. If you are still nervous about travelling to France, you could always start your property search with a virtual viewing. Virtual viewings are now offered as a matter of course, with even domestic buyers using them.

Since the UK has now left the EU, there are a few things to consider when buying a holiday home in France or moving there permanently.

You can stay in France, or any EU country, for 90 days out of 180 without being registered as a resident. If you are looking to stay in France permanently, you would need to apply for residency over that period. That could be either on a self-employed or an employed basis, where you would need a minimum income in France. For more information, visit the French government’s website.

 

Make sure you’re prepared for a viewing trip with the tips and tricks from our Viewing Trip guide.

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