• Megan

Travelling to France in January 2020

Although Sasha had an easy journey across the border a few days ago, it seems like that has not been the case for many choosing to travel by air... if you have a British passport.

This report from France24 details how many Britons who have been trying to fly to European countries have been prevented from boarding flights or blocked at borders, despite having all of the required paperwork (Residency Certificates, PCR Test Results, Fit to Fly Certificates and a Valid Passport). Much of the confusion seems to be over the new plastic Photo ID vs Paper Certificates that we previously used. Due to the pandemic and number of people applying, many authorities are experiencing a major backlog in processing applications and Residents have not yet received their new proof of residence.

Image source: france24.com

In addition, there has been some confusion with stamping passports. Passport stamps are for tourists as the 90 day (in 180 days) countdown begins when the passport is stamped. This is obviously not supposed to apply to Residents however there have been some reports of this happening. Depending on your situation, make sure that you do/don't get stamped!

In addition to the Brexit chaos, there is also the new strain and border closures to consider. Different countries have set different limitations on travellers from the UK. Just because a flight is showing as available online, do not assume that gives you a right to take it. Check on gov.uk before travelling to make sure that you have the required paperwork and right to travel. 'Essential travel' is still widely considered the rule of thumb and double check how this affects your Travel Insurance. When I spoke to some providers back in October about a policy for November and December, they said that they were not offering cover for Covid related illness because the government advised against travel. This wasn't advertised anywhere on their website so it was lucky that I called to check instead of just completing the purchase of the policy online.

This is a bit of a downbeat and boring post to write, but with rumours of some French resorts opening up sometime this season [President Macron is yet to make any formal announcements on this] some people have started heading to the Alps and it's really important to double check EVERYTHING before you travel. I really recommend keeping an eye on France24 for updates as that is where I've found the most accurate and up to date information so far.

If you're heading to the mountains then good luck and be safe!