COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: French Exemption from UK Quarantine - | Hudson McKenzie


COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: French Exemption from UK Quarantine

May 20, 2020 | COVID-19, Latest Thinking, News, Travel

As a detrimental consequence of COVID-19, countries across the globe have decided to close off their borders. This is to limit individuals from overseas to enter these respective countries, with the main object of exercise being to reduce the rate of ‘imported infection’.

As death tolls fall in certain countries, this factor has ultimately paved the way for the easing of lockdown restrictions in countries such as Spain and Italy, with citizens returning to work and the opening of places such as hair salons. However, for the UK the prospect of easing the lockdown lacks clarity.

On Sunday 10th May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation with much ambiguity and uncertainty on when the UK would start lifting its restrictions. With a continually augmenting death rate from the coronavirus, the widening conspiracy of a second peak and a squeezed health care service, it was inevitable that he would not reveal a start or end date of lockdown restrictions.

However, there is some evidence to suggest that there is an attempt to start the lifting of the lockdown in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a mutual arrangement between himself and the French President Emanuel Macron. This agreement consolidates that should individuals wish to move across the Channel, they can do so without having to quarantine for 14 days in France and the UK, a much similar agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

This is unlike most countries where it is mandatory that individuals travelling to another country quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Purposes of The Agreement:

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stipulated that this agreement was reached in line with a “common sense” approach. Ultimately, the UK and France want to continue to maintain the shipping of goods and products between Calais and Dover, but this will be made difficult should 14-day quarantine periods be imposed.

What is more is that Boris Johnson is desperately seeking to kickstart the UK economy again. Back in 2018, it has been reported that EuroStar made £1 billion solely from the transportation of people from London to Brussells, Amsterdam and Paris. As France is the gateway between the UK and the rest of Europe, Boris wants to be prepared for when services such as EuroStar start up once again.

To facilitate the shipment of goods and people between the two nations whilst also ensuring illegal migrants are not crossing the border, in line with the UK’s interest for strict national security, this agreement has been struck.

The Prospect of Future Travel:

As per both UK and French embassies, individuals who wish to move between the UK and France must do so for essential travel purposes only.

As it stands, it seems that UK travel will be offline for quite some time. Additionally, the French border is technically closed until 15th June 2020, minimising the prospect of Britons travelling to the south of France for a summer holiday this year.

Should you wish to enter France for essential travel purposes, you must be a main resident in France, and either be a healthcare worker or cross-border worker.

Should you require any further information or would like assistance with your visa application, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email or by telephone +44 (0)20 3318 5794.