I am a non-permanent resident in the UK without a British or EU passport but have a nationality that in normal times grants visa free access for 90 days in the Schengen area. Looking at the French government information I can see the following:

I am a foreign national. Can I enter France?

There are no restrictions for travel to Metropolitan France from the European space (European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican).

Since the European space includes the United Kingdom, would this mean anyone who is in London legally and is eligible to visa free access in France can travel by Eurostar freely? Which would then allow travel to other Schengen countries.

  • My issue is similar to the question asked here but for me I actually do not need to apply for a visa but I am mainly concerned about entry. It appears difficult to find a clear answer what happens to UK residents with the new rules.
    – traveller
    Jul 1, 2020 at 17:06
  • Your visa requirements don't matter as much as the ability to spread the pandemic. I reckon you may be required to self isolate upon your return to the UK. gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
    – Stinger
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:18
  • Did you do it then?
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 9, 2020 at 15:59
  • @Obie2.0 Sorry for the late reply. I did and was able to cross fine back on July 12.
    – traveller
    Jul 25, 2020 at 22:19
  • I tried with Spain a bit later and was unable to board the flight. Sure, I thought about going to France and trying to cross the border elsewhere, but at that point it would become an expensive road trip.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 27, 2020 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


The guidance is reasonably clear, in both French and English. If the restrictions was based on citizenship, the website would state so, as it does in several other places.

It does however mention additional restrictions for British residents.

However, due to reciprocity:

If you are coming from the United Kingdom, no restrictions are in place but you will be asked to carry out a 14-day voluntary quarantine.

You should still be expempted of that based on another provision detailed further down:

Certain categories of persons, particularly those in transit to another country, will be exempt from the voluntary 14-day quarantine mechanism, unless they show symptoms:

Individuals in transit to another country;

It's a good idea to have a proof of your residence in the UK and of your ability to return there of course.

  • Thanks. It does not mention citizenship in the clause but it also doesn't seem to mention residency so it almost sounds like any person with visa free access to both the UK and France (say, someone from the US) would be allowed to enter the Schengen area by having a layover in the UK and continuing travel to France with a ticket booked separately. Wouldn't this negate the effort done by Schengen countries to stop tourism from countries with high infection rates? It just almost sounds like a loophole to me.
    – traveller
    Jul 1, 2020 at 17:53
  • @traveller That's more of a stretch. “En provenance“ (the phrase used in French) does suggest that one of the countries listed must be your point of departure, not merely a layover. The UK is of course a bit of a special case, the EU still makes an effort to include it even though it's not a member and not very cooperative. But the underlying assumption is that in a context where all EU states agreed on external restrictions, anybody “coming from“ another EU country is either a resident there or in another country that was deemed acceptable. Residency is strongly implied.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:10
  • @Relaxed - Legal arguments are all well and good, but I think the question is really about how border control is applying these rules in practice. If they are denying or accepting entry in a certain matter, that is probably what is relevant for practical purposes. Does anyone know what policy is actually be applied to situations like this?
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 2, 2020 at 13:36
  • @Obie2.0 It's applied such that transit can be used as a loophole
    – Crazydre
    Oct 18, 2020 at 22:43

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