Can I stay in a hotel in France for 1 night while transiting from the UK? I am an EU citizen and need to travel to Switzerland.

I am a Swiss national and my Hubby is German.

  • 2
    Do you (or will you) have a newly done COVID 19 test?
    – Willeke
    Dec 26 '20 at 12:49
  • 4
    What's your citizenship and place of residence?
    – jcaron
    Dec 26 '20 at 13:07
  • @Willeke The question already got a comprehensive answer, what's the point of closing it?
    – Relaxed
    Dec 27 '20 at 19:34
  • Lack of details, even if there is an answer, but there are more details in a comment on an answer.
    – Willeke
    Dec 27 '20 at 19:35
  • 1
    @Willeke I read the pretext you used but what lack of details if there is already a comprehensive answer? And what does it achieve? You need something more compelling than that to use moderator powers. There was absolutely no reason to close the question even without those details and the fact that you did without reading the answers and comments doesn't make this any better.
    – Relaxed
    Dec 27 '20 at 23:46

At the present time, entry into France is restricted.

You are allowed to enter France from the UK to go to Switzerland only if:

  • you are are a French national
  • you are a citizen of the EU, the UK, Switzerland (and a few other countries) and your main residence is in France or you are crossing France to reach your country of nationality or residence.
  • you hold an EU residence permit or long-stay visa and your main residence is in France or you are crossing France to reach your residence in the European space.
  • you are transiting for less than 24 hours in an international zone (most likely not applicable to you).

There are a few other possible reasons but they are quite specific.

So, in your case, since you are a EU citizen, you are only allowed to cross France to go to Switzerland if you are a Swiss resident (or if you also hold Swiss citizenship, or are French).

In addition to the conditions, as you are arriving from the UK, you need to:

  • have a negative test less than 72 hours old
  • fill and carry a sworn declaration that you do not have any symptoms and have not been in contact with a confirmed case in the previous 14 days
  • fill and carry an exempted international movement certificate for travel to metropolitan France

All documents and additional details are available here.

Once you fulfil all those conditions, you can indeed stay overnight while on your way. You should however note that lots of hotels are currently closed, all restaurants and bars are closed, and wearing a face mask is compulsory indoors (except in your room) and in many places outdoors as well. You are also not allowed outside between 8 pm and 6 am (curfew in place).

Note that all these requirements are the same whether you stay overnight or not.

Note also that current Tier 3 and 4 restrictions in the UK may also prevent you from travelling, and there may also be additional restrictions for Switzerland: I only covered the requirements to enter France for transit.

  • Hi, thanks for your reply. I am a Swiss national and my Hubby is German. We won't have a problem entering Switzerland. We have to travel there as I will start a new job in Switzerland. The question is whether the French will let us stay overnight, assuming that our tests will be negative. According to you, they will. This is reassuring.
    – Maria
    Dec 26 '20 at 15:50
  • Remember that you are not allowed to drive past 8 pm, and the few hotels that are open may have reduced check-in hours, so be sure to double-check hours with them and include a lot of margin in your travel plans.
    – jcaron
    Dec 26 '20 at 21:40

Transit aside, concerning Switzerland, there is an entry ban in place for people coming from UK for short-stay purposes. Only nationals of Switzerland or Liechtenstein (or their family members), as well as residents of Switzerland, are permitted to enter Swiss territory. Even though in practice this might not be enforceable if you self-transit in another Schengen country, but legally you are not exempt just because you are transiting through France.

You will also be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon entry.

  • Hi, I am a Swiss national and my Hubby is German.
    – Maria
    Dec 26 '20 at 15:52

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