Brexit: travel rules between the UK and France

On 1 January 2021 Brexit came into effect, re-establishing the borders between the UK and France. Here's the information you need to know before planning trips between the two countries.

Please note: Given the risk of the spread of variant strains of Covid-19, the cross-border flow to France is currently reduced. As of 18 January 2021, travellers coming from a country outside the EU must present a negative PCR test result to enter French territory, and agree to self-isolate for seven days. For more information, please consult our dedicated coronavirus article here.

Following a transition period, Brexit came into effect on 1 January 2021 and the UK left the European Union. Free movement no longer applies between the UK and France, and migration controls have been re-established to and from the UK.

Travel arrangements

For British travellers to France:

Since 1 January 2021, British nationals have been subject to more in-depth checks when travelling. They are encouraged to allow additional time for border control and use the queue labelled 'Ressortissant de pays tiers' rather than 'EU / EEA / CH'.

British nationals who are not resident in an EU Member State and who wish to travel to France for a short stay (a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period), or who are in transit to another Member State or to the Schengen area, do not require a visa.

Travellers need to:

  • present their passport with at least six months' validity, which will be stamped upon entering and leaving the Schengen area. The maximum duration of a short stay cannot exceed 90 days within a period of 180 days;
  • be able to prove that they have sufficient funds to meet their needs during their stay. With some exceptions, the minimum required in France is calculated as 65 euros per day. Examples of proof include cash or a bank statement;
  • obtain travel insurance covering all medical, hospital and death expenses that could be incurred during their stay in France, including repatriation costs for medical reasons. Current EHIC cards will still be valid until their expiry date.

The supporting documents used to verify compliance with the entry conditions are listed in Annex I of the Schengen Borders Code, accessible here (External link) .

Further information on travel arrangements for British nationals to France is available on the French government website here (External link) and the UK government website here (External link) .



For international tourists wishing to visit both France and the UK on the same trip:

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can travel to the UK visa-free for holidays or short stays. A passport valid for the duration of the stay is required to enter UK territory. Until 1 October 2021, it will also be possible to travel with a valid national ID card.

For nationals from outside the EU, a visa may be required to stay in the UK. Further information is available on the UK government website here (External link) .

Customs

Travellers from the UK to France are subject to customs control to comply with deductibles for purchases made in the UK, in quantity for alcohol and tobacco, and in value for other goods. The level of these exemptions is specified on the French Directorate General of Customs and Excise website here (External link) .

Purchases made in France may be eligible for tax relief - check here (External link) . PABLO machines, which automate this process, are available in ports, airports and train stations serving the UK.

Further information on customs procedures for UK travellers to France is available on the French government website here (External link) and the UK government website here (External link) .

Download the Brexit guide for travellers (French only) (External link)

Driving licences

British nationals travelling to France for a short stay can drive under their UK driving licence. An international driving licence is not required.

Travelling with pets

From 1 January 2021, it is no longer possible to enter an EU territory with a European pet passport issued in the UK. British nationals travelling to France with dogs, cats or ferrets must comply with the following health conditions defined by the regulation of 12 June 2013:

  • ensure that pets are identifiable by way of a microchip or clearly legible tattoo made before 3 July 2011;
  • ensure that pets have been vaccinated against rabies and that the vaccine is still valid;
  • ensure that each pet has a health certificate issued by a registered UK vet. The certificate must be accompanied by proof of vaccination against rabies as well as a document attesting to the pet's ID. Certificates are valid for a period of 10 days from the date of issue and must be presented during border checks during this period. They remain valid in EU territories and Northern Ireland for a period of four months.

EU or Northern Irish nationals returning from a temporary stay in the UK and transporting dogs, cats or ferrets to France must be in possession of a European pet passport. The passport must certify a valid anti-rabies vaccination and must be presented at border control.

On arrival in France, travellers with pets will need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry (TPE).