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Travelling to France and back from England – what you need to know…

LINKS

This La Tania Blog Page tries to keep up to date with the latest information (always only from official sources). As always the best (and only) info that is reliable is from government sources – but check that both countries information match for confirmation…

This is the latest information we have at time of publication, please don’t shoot the messenger! For further information please use the contact details on this page and speak to people – relying on facebook comments for accurate information is not advised.

Covid Safety Measures & Rules plus Testing Stations in Courchevel & Méribel (and now La Tania)

UK Government travelling to UK

UK Government travelling to France

France Government travelling to France

UK Government travelling to Switzerland

Swiss Government travelling to Switzerland (& link to Swiss PLF)

Swiss Government Transit to France information

French Sworn Statement Link (UK is an Amber Country)

UK Passenger Location Form

Swiss Travel Check Site

Les 3 Vallees Covid Information Page

Summary From 13 Jan 2022:

BREAKING NEWS 13/1/22 – FRANCE LIFTS TRAVEL BAN
At last – no compelling reason, no isolation just a (private) lateral flow / antigen test <24hrs before travel. From Friday 14 January 2022.

From UK to France – Sworn Statement signed, Private Antigen (LF) Test <24hrs and proof of vaccine required.
From France to UK – UK PLF, Booked “Day 2” antigen private test and proof of vaccine required.
From UK via Geneva to France – Swiss PLF, Private Antigen (LF) Test <24hrs, French Sworn Statement doc signed and proof of vaccine required.
From France via Geneva to UK – UK PLF, Booked “Day 2” antigen private test and proof of vaccine required. Note that bordering areas are exempt from (Swiss) testing. A Swiss PLF is technically required but as you are transiting it’s not asked for and there is no enforcement as the land border is currently unchecked.

The LF/Antigen test can be the unsupervised one where you upload a photo of the test results to the provider and get emailed your certificate (not NHS ones) . We’ve used Testing For All, £19 inc postage, the certificate came back in 5 minutes last time.

Previously

UPDATE 12 Jan 2022:
“A relaxation or softening of the rules will be announced before the end of this week”. No further information.

UPDATE: 09 Jan – Quotes attributed to government ministers suggest that an announcement regarding the lifting of restrictions could be made following the next Conseil de Défense Sanitaire meeting which is rumoured to be next Wed 12 Jan.

UPDATE: FROM 04:00 Sun 09 Jan – Lateral Flow Test instead of PCR allowed on arrival.
A “Day 2” Lateral Flow Test on arrival in to UK from a private provider is allowed.

UPDATE: FROM 04:00 Fri 07 Jan – No pre-departure test before travelling to UK is required.
Applies to fully vaccinated & under 18s.

UPDATE: FROM Thu 06 Jan – A slight relaxation of compelling reasons to travel from UK to France. Reasons to travel now include “reasons linked to the pursuit of an economic activity requiring presence on site, which cannot be postponed (with proof from employer)”. Transiting France to a main residence in the EU has also been clarified.

UPDATE: FROM 23:59 Fri 17 Dec – Macron has banned all Brits from travelling to France (from the UK). A “Compelling Reason” is needed for travel to France from UK + minimum 48hr Isolation required and test negative to get out of isolation. Tourism is not a compelling reason.

Yes, there may be ways to get across land borders but you will be in trouble if caught (although no one knows how much trouble you would be in as you’re crossing from a “green” country rather than from the UK). Devastating news for the French Ski Industry. Reviewed in January we hear – we can but pray.

 

The above is of course the latest info we have and subject to rapid change


Previously…

Update 04/12/2021
Another hurdle to jump. From 7 Dec UK requiring pre departure tests from France (taken within 48 hours of departure). No drama really – the same as last Summer. The required Antigen Test with the certificate emailed to you within 30 minutes is available in Courchevel and Méribel

Travelling via Geneva you probably should have the PCR (although confusingly the Swiss site says People traveling into Switzerland from areas bordering the country with which there are close economic, social or cultural ties are exempt from the obligation to be tested
Auvergne / Rhône Alps (which includes La Tania) is one of the regions considered a “border area”.

Update 03/12/2021
Switzerland has scrapped the 10 day quarantine for arrivals from High Risk (like UK) countries. There was no quarantine required for those travelling onwards to/from France. But you still need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 48 hours) – NOTE THAT SWISS SITE SPECIFIES PCR ONLY NOW. A second test is required four to seven days after entry but if the stay is less than 4 days, a second test is not necessary. 

Update 02/12/2021
From Saturday 04 Dec testing requirements for arriving in France come in to force for everyone 12 and over. A PCR test (or some of the antigen tests) less than 48 hours old is required prior to entry. There’s some wording in the “sworn statement” changing to say further tests may be required (we can’t imagine this happening up the mountain mind). See Pass Sanitaire requirements in France here

Update 30/11/2021 12:00
GOOD NEWS! Looks like the travelling to France via Switzerland issue is sorted (for now).

UK gov info matching Swiss gov info at last!

There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours”

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/switzerland/entry-requirements

Just got to hope someone tells the police, border control and easyJet ground staff…….. But positive news after the shambles of information / communication at the weekend! Swiss Site Update Here

Update 30/11/2021 09:00
Absolute clarity of information is still awaited on travelling by road from Geneva Airport to France and vice-versa. Lots of lazy journalism and so called travel experts quoting out of date documents, incorrect tweets and the UK Gov Site without checking Swiss Gov Sites and what is happening on the ground (people have both been let through, denied boarding or turned back).

UK has back-tracked on their “All passengers including transit passengers must quarantine” to “transit passengers airside are exempt from testing and quarantine“. No explanation of this or apology. The Swiss Travel Check Website is now back up – if you say you wish to:

  • You wish to enter Switzerland (incl. transit)
  • From UK (other passport holder etc)
  • I enter only for transit, with the intention and the possibility of continuing directly to another country (Transit).

The answer is You are exempt from the test requirement. So still ambiguity, no mention of quarantine exemption, no mention of travel by road directly to another country so we’re back to square one.

Meanwhile the official rules in Switzerland on Swiss Gov Site:
The following rules apply to travelling through Switzerland to another country
Transit from a third country considered by the SEM to be high-risk to a Schengen state:
It is only possible to enter Switzerland from a high-risk country (eg UK) in order to travel on to another Schengen state (eg France) for a short stay of up to 90 days if you can prove that you have been vaccinated.

Update 28/11/21 18:00:
UK FCO GOV Travel Advice Latest Update:
Updated information on entry requirements for arrivals from the UK. From 8pm on 27 November 2021, you must have proof of vaccination and proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Switzerland, which can be a PCR or antigen test. On entry, you must also self-quarantine for 10 days. Those arriving from UK who wish to transit to another country will need to self-quarantine in Switzerland for 10 days. 
NOTE – THIS IS NOT CLEARLY STATED ON THE SWISS GOV SITE.

Update 27/11/21 21:00:
Looking like the Swiss have brought in a 10 day quarantine (even for the vaccinated) for all countries that have the new variant detected. The UK has just been added to “the list” but entry is restricted to Schengen passport holders anyway by the looks of this. Praying this is a short term temporary measure (and getting a transfers from GVA is a nightmare anyway isn’t it this year?).

From https://www.bag.admin.ch/…/quarantaene-einreisende.html


Tightening of entry rules: Quarantine for arrivals since 8pm on 26.11.2021, various countries have been on the list of countries with a variant of concern. Anyone entering Switzerland from these countries must present a negative test result and quarantine for 10 days. This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons. Only people who are Swiss nationals or hold a residence permit for Switzerland or a country in the Schengen area can enter Switzerland from these countries.

Still not absolutely clear if transiting passengers are required to quarantine etc. Hopefully some more clarity when the Swiss Travel Check site is updated (currently down). You put in where you’re going / transiting etc… UPDATE – SEE ABOVE
https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home

Update 27/11/21 18:00 :
UK Gov Announcement today that there is a return to “Day 2” PCR tests on travellers returning to the UK with self isolation until a negative test is proved. Basically that’s back to where we were a month ago – costs go up from £13 to £28 per person – but you are required to self isolate if you come into contact with someone who tests positive.

Update 24/11/21 from BBC Website:
Children from the UK aged 12 years old or over who have received only one vaccination dose are not regarded as fully vaccinated under French rules.

If they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, they will be required to present a negative PCR test result on arrival in France. However, they do not have to give an essential reason, or self-isolate after arriving. Children aged 11 years old or younger do not need to present a negative test result to travel to France.

SUMMARY 23/11/21

French Pass Sanitaire
Looking more and more likely that this will be required for skiing (as it is for entry to Bars and Restaurants) as the French try to keep a tight control on things – the NHS QR Code uploads to the Anti Covid App fine or you need proof of testing or recovery on it. On Val Thorens opening preview day the officials asked for it as they gave you the free ski pass, they also gave you a bracelet pass for the restaurant – not sure if that was for the free food or to prove you had the Health Pass! Macron has set a 15 December deadline for 3rd jabs for over 65s for full vaccination status to be kept. 12 to 15 year olds look like they will have to get tests as it stands, at least for bars and restaurants ( they last for 72 hours in France so a couple should suffice for a weeks holiday, however this may be required every 24 hours and tests within 24 hours of departure could be a pain – as always check the official advice on UK Gov Site and French Gov Site for the latest info). Additional use of face masks moving around inside venues is now required too.

In reality though, very few places in our experience are currently checking Health Passes as of 22 Nov 2021. On the main opening day of VT there was some enforcement of masks in queues and covered lifts however.


Going Out from England to France:
If fully vaccinated then just the French Sworn Statement is needed (and a passport with 6 months left on it!). Technically your NHS proof of vaccine is required when entering French air space and you may be asked for this at the airport (and you’ll certainly need it in France).

Coming Back from France to England:
If fully vaccinated then a completed Passenger Locator Form (PLF) plus a Day 2 test (the cheaper Lateral Flow test is now accepted from 4am on 24 October but not the freebie NHS ones). Cheapest we could find is Expert Medicals for £13 – although there customer service record isn’t up to much, you do get the all important reference number for the UK PLF at purchase time. NOTE THE UPDATE ABOVE – PCR TESTS NOW REQUIRED AGAIN.

Travel via Switzerland:
If fully vaccinated then travellers flying to Switzerland (for example travelling to France via Geneva) are now exempt from testing and the NHS Covid Pass is accepted as proof of vaccination. A Swiss PLF type document is required to be completed. The Swiss Covid Certificate which costs non-nationals CHF30 is NOT required to enter the country (but may be needed to Ski in Switzerland or enter bars etc).

Over Val Thorens opening weekend flying from Newcastle via Frankfurt to Geneva was fairly straight forward. Asked for NHS Vaccination proof and Swiss Doc in Newcastle (nothing else required as transiting through Germany) and on the way back we were asked for the UK PLF in Switzerland and Germany but no vaccination proof.

NB: Border Control in Germany were flexing their Brexit muscles asking what we were doing going to Switzerland, how long for, where we were staying etc. and then wanted to see our return tickets (or proof of funds presumably). Changing times indeed.

Earlier…

UPDATE 09/11/21 : French Prime Minister insisted that closing ski resorts was not an option. Health Passes not required to ski unless rates go over 200 per 100,000. Masks will be required on closed / covered lifts and in lift queues.

UPDATE 21/10/21: From 4am on 24 October, arrivals into England who are considered fully vaccinated will be able to take a lateral flow test on or before day 2 of their arrival, instead of a PCR test. Passengers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test result and send it back to their private testing provider for verification. 

Fully vaccinated travellers flying to Switzerland (for example travelling to France via Geneva) are now exempt from testing and the NHS Covid Pass is accepted. PLF documents are required to be completed.

UPDATE 17/09/21: From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully Vax’d you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, you will be able to take a cheaper lateral flow test rather than the “2 Day” PCR Test

UPDATE 14/09/21: If flying to Geneva you still require a PCR “fit to fly” pre-departure test but crossing the border in to France is straight forward enough.

UPDATE 10/09/21: Expert Medicals have had their licence withdrawn apparently. Was the cheapest by far and free for those who didn’t get sent a test (but got the all important reference number at time of booking) and then did a charge back on their credit card…

UPDATE 19/08/21: Nationwide Pathology have put their Day 2 test back to £40. We’ve also seen Expert Medicals with a Day 2 test for £28 – reviews aren’t great though…

UPDATE 11/08/21: NWP have put their Day 2 test up from £40 to £65. We’ve used TESTING FOR ALL successfully- they charge £48.

UPDATE 10/08/21: How to get a French COVID certificate if vaccinated abroad (non-EU). If vaccinated in Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom (England and Wales only) then you already have Digital Covid Certificate which is valid in France.

Advice from the gov.uk site here too www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/coronavirus

Vaccinated non-EU tourists, including those from Scotland and Northern Ireland, can request a QR code for domestic use from the French government if travelling to France. To be eligible, you will need to provide the following evidence by email:

  • A vaccination certificate
  • A valid passport
  • Return travel tickets
  • A completed application form

This system is initially open to those already in France or arriving on or before 15 August. Subsequent arrivals will be processed at a later date. 

UPDATE 10/08/21: Fully vaccinated travellers back to the UK from France (after 4am on Sunday 08/08/21 when amber quarantine rules changed) are still getting text messages telling them to quarantine for 10 days and take 2 further tests. This is an error, no quarantine is now required for fully vaccinated and only a Day 2 test is required once you have returned home.

UPDATE 09/08/21: The TAC Verif App which is used to check the French Covid Pass for validity now reads NHS QR Codes directly (from NHS App, Apple Wallet, Google Pay or paper copies) and no longer requires them to be uploaded to the French TousAntiCovid App.

UPDATE 05/08/21: France off the Amber Plus list from 4am Sunday 8 Aug – no longer a requirement to quarantine on return to the uk for those fully vaccinated. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58079107

No longer a requirement for a Day 8 test just the pre-departure and Day 2 tests plus a completed PLF required.

Cheapest Day 2 test we can find (which you need to pre-order to enter ref no on PLF) is from Nationwide Pathology for £40. SEE UPDATE, NOW £65. Testing For All charge £48.

Pharmacy in Courchevel 1850 charges €25 for an anti-gen test and sends results via test message and link to PDF file within 30 minutes. You can do a walk-in but it may be best to book. Call +33 (0)479 080537. Open in Summer Mon-Sat 09:30-12:30 and 15:30-19:00. No tests on a Sunday.

UPDATE 04/08/21: The French verification app (TAC Verif) now reads England NHS QR codes uploaded to the French TousAntiCovid App – although you could upload from the start of the week the verification app has only just been updated to work with them.

You may need to regenerate NHS QR code and re-upload it to French App in case it has expired – they last a month.

Note that you must upload NHS QR codes to the French TousAntiCovid App as TAC Verif will not read direct from NHS App, Apple Wallet or Google Pay. (Now fixed see update 10/08).

UPDATE 03/08:21: A Covid Pass will be required for the Summer Ski Jumping World Cup in Le Praz and is already being asked for at Aquamotion. Mairie website claims La Tania Swimming Pool also requires Covid Pass but this wasn’t enforced yesterday – this may be to do with the low number of customers.

UPDATE 02/08/21: The NHS Covid Pass can now be uploaded from the NHS App to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay for ease of use and off-line access.

UPDATE 01/08/21: Although NHS QR Codes can be uploaded successfully to the French TousAntiCovid App, the Tac Verif App used to verify codes by cinemas, museums, etc and ultimately all bars & restaurants does not yet recognise them. NHS proof of (full) vaccination is accepted however. French Embassy Confirmation here

UPDATE 26/07/21: Check that your passport number is on pre-departure test certificate – officially it is not required (just name as on passport plus date of birth is needed) but some ferry companies insisting on it we hear. Also some issues with maiden names on French docs, carry marriage certificate if necessary.

UPDATE 30/07/21: Aquamotion in Courchevel 1550/1650 is now requesting a Covid Pass prior to entry.

UPDATE 24/07/21: Crossed back over to France from the UK via Eurotunnel yesterday – almost normal and busy. Queued for 20 minutes at first ticket check then straight through customs check and passport controls (all on UK side now, straight out on French side). Was not asked for proof of vaccination or for the French Attestation document! 3 weeks ago you had to leave your vehicle and queue up to show all the documentation required.

UPDATE 22/07/21: Bozel Pharmacie no longer do antigen tests. Only Synlab in 1850, Bozel, Meribel and Moutiers by appointment . The social security code anyone can use on Synlab is 155555574102314. Thanks to Ralph, Willie, Liz and Joey for the info.

UPDATE 21/07/21: The French Government TousAntiCovid App will accept the QR Code of the NHS Vaccination Certificates so the proof can be uploaded in to the wallet on the App. It’s all in English and straightforward to use going forward as proof of vaccination when in France. There’s a “Border” display option for showing at Airports / Ports too. Thanks to Rosalind H for the heads up.


This info is correct from 19 July 2021 – as far as we know and always subject to change. Always check UK Gov Site and French Gov Site for the latest info.

PLEASE REFER TO UPDATES ABOVE.

Going Out from England to France:
If double jabbed then just the French Sworn Statement is needed (and a passport with 6 months left on it!). Children under 18 have the same status as parents (counted as fully vaccinated if their parents are). CHECK THIS IS STILL VALID FOR UNDER 18s – RULES MAY CHANGE.

Coming Back from France to England:
If double jabbed the following is needed along with a completed Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

  1. A pre-departure test within 72 hours of leaving France. – SEE UPDATE, NOW NOT APPLICABLE.
  2. A Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test on return during a 10 Day self quarantine period. – SEE UPDATE, NO QUARANTINE AND DAY 2 ONLY REQUIRED. LATERAL FLOW FROM 24 OCTOBER.
  3. Optionally a Day 5 “Test to Release” PCR test to leave quarantine early. – SEE UPDATE, NOW NOT APPLICABLE.

Pre-departure test
Within 72 hours of departure an anti-gen / lateral flow type or PCR test available across France (pharmacies in Méribel, Courchevel 1650 & 1850 plus Bozel, they charge €25 euros anti-gen for tourists). Synlab do PCR for tourists for £43 in Courchevel and Bozel but anti-gen is ok for UK. www.pds.synlab.fr/laboratoire/default.aspx

Day 2 and Day 8 Tests
Available across the UK – can be done by post too. Shop around Boots charge £160 while Testing for All charge £95. SEE UPDATE, DAY 2 ONLY REQUIRED.

Day 5 Test to Release
This is optional and allows you to leave quarantine following negative PCR test result received after full 5 days back in the UK. For example arrive in UK Monday then test Saturday. You still need to do the Day 8 test too. These Test to Release tests are available across UK, again check prices, some from as little as £59 and TUI, Jet2, easyJet, RyanAir all have deals with providers. – SEE UPDATE, NOW NOT APPLICABLE

Proof of Vaccine
Check the days after 2nd jab for validity (7 or 14 days or a month depending on vaccine) and use the NHS App for proof.

The French Covid Health Pass system for access to cinemas, museums and theme parks comes in to play this week and will be ultimately extended to shopping centres, leisure facilities, restaurants & bars. The NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will be allowed instead of the EU Covid Digital Certificate according to the Consular General at the French Embassy – more here or take paper copy of NHS document. SEE UPDATES ABOVE, COVID PASS (and NHS pass) NOW ENFORCED.

Other Parts of the UK
Check for differences in the requirements if travelling to / from other parts of the UK:
Wales
Scotland
Northern Ireland

Un-Vaccinated Etc
For anything else other than the above (like those un-vaccinated) you need recent pre-arrival tests and reason for the essential travel etc. Check the Government Websites for full information and the latest changes.

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