Do vaccinated travellers transiting from Germany through France still have to quarantine in UK?

Do vaccinated travellers transiting from Germany through France still have to quarantine in UK?
Drivers on the Autobahn in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat
From August 2nd, fully vaccinated people will be able to travel to the UK from a European country without having to quarantine, but this does not apply to France. So what about people who just travel through France en route to the UK?

The British government announced on Wednesday that vaccinated travellers from countries in Europe to the UK can skip the mandatory 10-day quarantine when arriving in the UK, but separate rules will still apply for France.

The British government made it clear it still requires fully vaccinated travellers from France – whether they are UK residents returning from a holiday or people vaccinated in France  – to undergo 10 days of quarantine after arrival.

READ ALSO: What are the new rules for travel between Germany and the UK?

But what about fully vaccinated travellers from Italy, Spain or Germany for example who are just driving through France to get to the UK?

Well it appears that they will still be required to quarantine on arrival in England – even if they are just driving through France with no overnight stay. 

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On July 16th, after announcing that was France was in-effect ranked as “amber plus”compared to the rest of Europe which was still amber, the UK issued the following guidance:

“Anyone who has been in France in the last 10 days will need to quarantine on arrival to England in their own accommodation and will need a day 2 and day 8 test, regardless of their vaccination status. This includes any fully vaccinated individual who transits through France from either a green or another amber country to reach England.”

However, existing exemptions for key workers including truck drivers remain in place.

READ ALSO ‘Absurd, discriminatory’: Anger in France over UK’s decision to maintain quarantine

The government added: “Some operators may make specific arrangements compliant with the public health regulations that allow for transit without quarantine, for example those travelling by train from Belgium, so travellers should check with their operator.”

“Ministers indicated that Eurostar passengers on services travelling through France would not need to quarantine if their train did not stop in the country,” the BBC reported at the time.

However, it is unclear whether any exemption would extend to passengers from Belgium or the Netherlands who travel to England on a Eurostar train which stops in Lille. Passengers are advised to check with Eurostar.

It also wasn’t clear whether there were exceptions for those air passengers travelling to the UK via a French airport.

The government is yet to release detailed guidance concerning travelling through France following the latest announcement. The current guidelines simply state: “If you’ve been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if you are fully vaccinated.”

There is confusion among travellers in Germany – some of whom have already had to change travel plans. 

So it would seem that fully vaccinated travellers heading to the UK from a European country would be best off not going via France if possible. 

READ ALSO: ‘Troublesome but possible’: How Brits in Germany feel about going home after quarantine rules eased


Member comments

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  1. The Government have changed the rules from last year when I drove back from Germany through Belgium and France to the UK via Eurotunnel. Then Germany was in a lower risk category than France, but as long as we did not get out the car or interact with others in France, the UK Government treated us as not having visited France.

    I wonder if this has something to do with the new Health minister Javid not being clued up. Apparently there was minimal consultation. Johnson has a track record of not appointing the sharpest tools in the box, Frost, Patel, Truss. Or indeed Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary who didn’t realise the significance of the Dover-Calais trade route.

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