Travel to France from UK during current lockdown

18 Replies



Hi - I wonder if some kind person can give me advice!I am living in UK, but have a holiday home in Brittany (not far from Dinan in Côtes-d'Amor.) Because of the various COVID-19 lockdowns in UK and France I have not been able to travel to my home in France since last August.  I am getting very nervous about the place. There is no-one in France who looks after it, so if there is any problem (burglary, storm damage, flooding, infestation, etc) I simply wont know about it.  I am therefore very keen to travel to France for a few days simply to check all is OK (and if not, to rectify).  Is this travel allowed or will I be turned away at either Portsmouth or Caen? And if I do go to France, where could I get a Coronavirus test before returning back to UK (which I believe is now a necessary UK requirement).Many thanks in anticipation!Peter O'Sullivan

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Rich by name 1610419501

Unfortunately the rules change very often however the way I
understand it at the moment travel is allowed for essential reasons, I would
think travelling to your own home to check it after 6 months is pretty
essential, Covid tests easy enough to get done though the UK is charging stupid
amounts at some places, it’s another example of people getting rich by ripping
people off in times of crisis and the UK government will stand by and allow it
to continue. there are a lot of travel ports in UK where you can have pre
travel covid tests done prior to departure I suggest you check on line

peteros 1610467339

Thanks for the thoughts Rich.

Do you have any idea whether it's easy to get a COVID test in France - which is required before returning to the UK.

Nipper 1610468516

NOT POSSIBLE to travel to 2nd homes.  Read the government guidelines. You wouldn't get across the channel. 

Euro-Trash-962704 1610475700

As said. To travel anywhere in France you need to fill in the current attestation stating the reason for travel. The current attestation does not have a box for 'visiting a holiday home'

peteros 1610482409

I agree that 'visiting a holiday home' may not be valid if the purpose is leisure or holiday. But would it not be acceptable if the purpose is simply to ensure that the property is secure, uninfested, etc? I have no desire to 'holiday' - I just want to go, check it out, and return to UK (and into self isolation!) Or am I being naive?

Nipper 1610522352

Naive I think.  The rules are "no visits to holiday homes".

Euro-Trash-962704 1610527181

The issue isn't whether or not your reason seems acceptable to forum members or even border control staff. The issue is that France controls its borders and France has decided what reasons it will accept for travelling to France from the UK, and this isn't one of them. And the border staff enforce the rules because that's their job.

Have you actually looked at the attestation you'd need to complete, do you see a box on it that you could truthfully tick and produce paperwork to back it up? If you haven't looked at it you can download it in English here

Previous attestations last year used to have the option of travelling for domestic emergencies, which this could perhaps have been classed as, but that option seems to have been taken off. Maybe that's because it was offered in the spirit of freedom of movement for as long as the UK was being treated as a member of the EU, or maybe it's because of the highly infectious 'English variant'.

You can try of course but if the border control staff don't accept your reason for travel, you'll be turned back and it will have been an expensive and time wasting trip. There are already reports of some countries trying to refuse entry to Brits who do genuinely tick one of the boxes.

Ronald-McDonald-933428 1610537215


As said. To travel anywhere in France you need to fill in the current attestation stating the reason for travel. The current attestation does not have a box for 'visiting a holiday home'"

This statement puzzles me.  Are you saying that to travel anywhere I need to carry an attestation?  Or is your statement a little unclear because it doesn't distinguish between travel across the national border and residents here travelling locally?

I have been out shopping without carrying the piece of paper for weeks now thinking they were no longer necessary.

Nipper 1610537663

You don't have to have an attestation to travel within France but you do to enter France from the UK.

Euro-Trash-962704 1610548514

Yes sorry I didn't express that well. Although if you click on the link I think it's pretty clear what this attestation is for.

As Nipper says, to enter France from the UK you need an attestation giving the reason for travel, thank you Nipper.

Rich by name 1610624944

Just how many of you have crossed the French the UK or any other border recently, me I have crossed many, its not difficult, what is classed as essentialm is open to interpretation and is usually agreeable with Border Control

Recently I took a taxi from Gourin to Paris Charles DeGaul no paper was required, PCR test to travel to UK was a waste of time as no one even asked to see it on arrival

Look at Doctolib for places in France for Travel PCR test results back by email in less than 24 hours cost 65 Euro

Euro-Trash-962704 1610632842

Not sure why you botthered getting a PCR test to travel to the UK, since the UK doesn't require one? but at least it only cost you 65€ as opposed to around £120 for a PCR test in the UK.

AFAIK the only requirement on entering the UK is to fill in a passenger locator form which nobody looks at and to intend to self quarantine for a fortnight which nobody checks either. No attestation required and no questions asked. The UK is probably one of the easiest countries in the world to arrive into at the moment.

Folle-Au Vent-980980 1610633252

Rich by name

Just how many of you have crossed the French the UK or any other border recently, me I have crossed many

Is this a good thing to be doing during this phase of the pandemic?

Rich by name 1610676839

Folle-Au Vent

In my line of work there is no choice. not that its any of your business.

Euro Trash

I never said it cost me 65 Euro, I said thats how much they cost, and seeing as you asked the reason I took the test,  quite simply because as usual the UK dont know if they are coming or going they change their mind at the drop of a hat and on my pass through heathrow the week before some jobsworth prick at border control held me up for 20 minutes asking to see a negative PCR test, try going through heathrow more than once and you will see how confused the unqualified inconsistent pricks at UK border control are I doubt you could train any normal person to be as usless as they are.

puckstopshere 1610706217

Like yourself we have not been to visit our house since last September . We have now been informed the house is damp and growing bad mould all over . We have now been quoted twenty two thousand euro to treat and rectify this problem .Its so frustrating that we are unable to get to the property to ascertain the damage and undertake the work needed ( I am not going to be ripped of by that sort of money )  Lets hope the virus problem recedes sooner  than later 

rs-955 1610707716

Hi, I've not read all the replies but to some extent I am in the same boat. However, I visited Brittany (Portsmouth to Ouistreham) in October and December to do some work on my house which is also not far from Dinan. The trick, I think, is to monitor both UK and French information channels - there are fixed dates for policy/guideline reviews. You also need to be flexible, and when you spot a window then go for it and get in quick. I'm lucky in that I have a couple of ex-pat mates who are monitoring the French side and can help with practical advice, bt just make sure that you have the current attestations completed correctly and take proof of your house ownership - I wasn't stopped by anyone for a spot-check but it can happen and there are some reported incidents of bogus checkpoints making spot fines on foreign plate drivers. Not that many but just be aware. You asked for advice on testing - which seemed to be an excuse for the miserabalists to rant about profit-making - Boots provide an online booking service for tests that conform with French requirements. Book online and walk into a nominated High Street shop with your passport etc. Another new alternative is a charity/non-profit organisation that has been set up called Testing For All. Whether it will be quick enough - the test needs to be no more than 72 hours old to meet French requirements (and I don't know whether this is a the point of embarkment or disembarkment) or whether it it is of the right type - the list is a long one! Their website is at Best of luck and I may see you on the (socially distanced) ferry

peteros 1610819233

Thanks for the contributions. (I initiated the discussion). Lots of opinion, and a few facts, but has helped me build a picture. A couple of you in a similar position, so good to hear your experiences. Of course the new thing is the requirement to be tested in France before returning to UK. Havent heard how easy this will be (or how to organise it), but I guess its too new for anyone to know. I have managed to find someone in France to go and check my property, so keeping fingers crossed that there isnt some major issue. Then (as suggested by rs-955) I need to watch and wait for the first opportunity to go. But is seems as though that may be sometime off, as restrictions are tightening, not loosening. Cheers

Rich by name 1610849747

Easy to get a PCR test in France book you test online here  Doctolib

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