Get us in your inbox

Paris Pass - Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

France is going back into a national lockdown

The country had opened its borders to most European travellers this summer

James Manning

Still dreaming of a European getaway this autumn? If you too live on the continent – or one of a dozen or so other countries around the world – and you play it right, you’re still in with a shot. But you’ll want to avoid France for the next month or so. 

France had reopened its borders on June 15 to travellers from across the EU and the Schengen free-movement area, as well as citizens or residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

However, new measures announced this week mean travel in and around France is off the cards for the foreseeable. 

President Emmanuel Macron has said that, because of rising numbers of cases, the country is going back into a strict, nationwide lockdown from this Friday (October 30) until December 1 at the earliest. 

Under the new rules, travel between different regions in France is no longer allowed. People are being asked to stay at home, and carry permission forms if they do go out in public. 

All bars, restaurants, cafés and attractions (like museums, art galleries and cinemas) must close, while schools and essential shops will remain open. 

Even before this new lockdown, would-be holidaymakers from the UK, were facing quarantine when they returned from travel in France. The rule, which came into force on August 15, means anyone travelling to the UK from France has to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days (or risk a fine of up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or £480 in Scotland). 

Face masks are also currently compulsory in enclosed public spaces including shops as well as on public transport and some outdoor public spaces. 

So, in other words: your French vacay will probably have to wait until 2021. 

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

Latest news