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Health and safety

French border reopens to UK arrivals following travel ban

23 December 2020

An agreement to reopen the UK-French border has been reached, following the announcement of a 48-hour closure on 20 December as a new variant of Covid-19 spreads across the UK.

The protocol, which will allow the resumption of accompanied freight services and some passenger services between the two countries was reached by the UK and French governments last night (22 December).

Under the agreement, admittance into France will only be granted to those travelling for urgent reasons – including hauliers – French citizens, and British citizens with French residency. 

Rail, air and sea services have now resumed, with all people travelling from the UK into France required to show proof of a negative Coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours.

Under the protocol agreed with the French Government, which will be reviewed on 31 December and in place until 6 January, all lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, will require a lateral flow test. This can detect the new strain of Covid-19 and provide results in around 30 minutes, rather than the 24 hours required using other forms of test.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: 'I am pleased that we have made this important progress with our French counterparts this evening. This protocol will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative COVID test.'