Some new initiatives have been recently announced or are set to be introduced in France soon. Here are four that could impact you.
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Help for the self-employed
This week, the French Parliament passed a bill, which is designed to provide extra help for the self-employed. It covers freelancers, contractors, self-employed workers and small business owners, making it easier for them to access state benefits if their business is struggling or failing financially.
This law will come into force in around 3 months’ time. In the event of bankruptcy, a worker’s personal assets will be exempt from seizure. This long-awaited bill is considered “urgent” by self-employed workers in France.
Last year, the British and French governments reached a deal about driving licences. If your UK licence was issued before 1 January 2021 you can keep driving with this in France until either the photocard or the licence has expired.
You will need to apply for a French licence six months before the expiry date.
President Macron has announced that he will support a new nuclear power programme in France, despite environmental concerns and questions over the cost. He will announce that six or more nuclear reactors will be built by 2050 and argues that nuclear energy is required if France is heading towards a low-carbon future.
This comes following the EU’s decision to class nuclear power and natural gas as ‘green’ energy, despite disagreements about if these should be considered sustainable sources. Germany said that including nuclear and gas as sustainable sources would be “a mistake”, whereas France is leading the push for nuclear power, as this is its main energy source.
However, these promises are all subject to the outcome of the French election. The first round will take place in April.
Test requirements for travelling to France
Currently, fully vaccinated UK travellers must show a negative PCR or antigen test taken in the last 48 hours if aged 12 and over and fill in a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form on arrival to France. However, there has been speculation that the need for a test from vaccinated travellers may soon be abolished.
Many have reported struggles with getting test results back in time, as well as the sheer cost of the tests required for travel. Also, France has begun reporting higher daily cases than the UK and travellers coming from within the EU no longer need to provide any form of test in France if they are fully vaccinated. This has led to calls for the tests for UK travellers to be scrapped altogether. The decision may lie with the European Council to make this an EU wide change; however, nothing has been announced yet. Watch this space!