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British Embassy issues holiday travel warning to French residents

Avoid long lines, get your Withdrawal Agreement Residency Card before 1 January!



Menna Rawlings, British Ambassador to France, has called on those planning festive trips between the UK and France to read the latest Travel Advice before travelling as the UK and France have recently announced changes to Covid-19 rules. She also has also encouraged those people who are still waiting for their Withdrawal Agreement Residency Permit to urgently contact their prefecture without delay.


British Ambassador to France Menna Rawlings said:

“The festive season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. For many Brits in France, that means travelling across the border. Given the fast-moving health situation, please stay up-to-date with border requirements and the latest on Covid-19 guidance in France by reading our Travel Advice: it’s essential Christmas reading!


“I also encourage everyone who has yet to finalise their Withdrawal Agreement residency permit to do so by 1 January, which means attending your prefecture appointment and submitting any outstanding documents. If you’re still waiting for your card, keep your certificate of application safe and get in touch with your prefecture as soon as possible to check all is in order.


“I would like to wish all the British community in France a safe and merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year.”


British people in France who have applied for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement need to have their card (carte de séjour “accord de retrait”) in hand before 1 January 2022, according to French law.

People who have applied but are yet to receive a card should keep their certificate of application safe – this can be found in the initial email confirmation following the application – as well as any correspondence on their application. They should also contact the prefecture where they lodged their application as soon as possible to enquire about the delay, informing the Interior Ministry directly if appropriate by emailing contact-brexit@interieur.gouv.fr. Further information about this is available on the UK’s Living In France Guide.

The French and UK Governments have recently announced some changes to their Covid-19 rules. The latest information on travel between the UK and France can be found on GOV.UK on the France Travel Advice and UK Border Control pages. People can also sign up for travel alerts direct to their inbox here.

Covid restrictions

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, all international arrivals to the UK must take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. All people aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or lateral flow COVID-19 test before they travel to the UK from France.

In France, people older than 12 need a “pass sanitaire” to access many public spaces, including long distance public transport, ski lifts, restaurants and cafes. You can access the pass sanitaire by demonstrating you are fully vaccinated in line with the EU Digital Covid Status Certification framework, that you have tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 24 hours, or that you have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. Children over 12 vaccinated with Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna must have received both doses to be counted as fully vaccinated, unless they were vaccinated in France and received one dose after recovering from Covid-19.

The French Government has announced that from 15 December, those who are 65 and over and who have been fully vaccinated for more than six months and five weeks will need to demonstrate that they have received an approved COVID-19 booster injection in order to use vaccination status to access the “pass sanitaire” in France. This will also apply to 18-64 year olds from 15 January.

France has also announced that all arrivals from outside the EU will need to present a negative Covid-19 test, taken 48 hours or less before departure. Travellers arriving in France from the UK who are not fully vaccinated will need an essential reason to enter France. Non vaccinated arrivals from within the EU will need to present a negative test from within 24 hours pre-departure.

Travellers should be aware that Covid-19 entry requirements can differ between the four nations of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and they must ensure they are following the advice for their destination.


France Travel Advice

UK Border Control

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