I'm British and have been living in France for just over 5 years. I am a resident without official residency papers (I don't have to have these until June, due to brexit).

I've been visiting my parents in the UK over Christmas and now wish to return home.

Under the new lockdown laws, can I return to France during lockdown? Or should I panic and try to get tested and book travel before Wednesday?

I have no transport booked yet.

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    And if they ask for proof that you are a resident, what will you show them? – Mark Johnson Jan 4 at 21:17
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    (+1) To be clear: the question is about the new restrictions in England, you seem to have the French side of things covered (tests, etc.), correct? @MarkJohnson Typical proof of address/residence in France is a utility bill but things like a health insurance card, etc. can also support the claim to be a resident. – Relaxed Jan 4 at 21:38
  • @Relaxed Yes, the health card should work nicely. And when he make the application, some statement when a health card was first issued should prove that he's been there for 5 years. – Mark Johnson Jan 4 at 21:44
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    @jcaron Based on the experience in Spain during the weekend this is very true, since the airline will be held liable if they get it wrong. UK expats prevented from returning home to Spain – Mark Johnson Jan 5 at 13:13
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    @jcaron Recent reports (British citizens refused entry at Schiphol, in Germany and in Barcelona) suggests that until now airlines have been quite lenient (rightly so in the case of returning Spanish residents, not so much for holiday-makers at Schiphol). With additional Covid-19 restrictions added almost every day and Brexit only beginning to produce its full effect, this is obviously liable to change or differ from case to case. – Relaxed Jan 5 at 17:07

I've just been turned away from the plane.

This is despite being a resident in France for 5 years. To be clear for anyone thinking about planning the trip, I took:

  • appartement contract
  • work contract
  • letter from my employer stating that they needed me in France
  • PCR test
  • utility bill
  • carte vitale

My airline was BA. They repeatedly said that I must have either:

  • a resident card
  • a french passport

They stated also that the rules were changed last night, I assume they are referring to this. Which states clearly that any habitual resident of France may re-enter the country.

Anyone looking to travel should probably contact their airline first to be absolutely clear on what is required as proof of residency.

Edit: I saw a woman pass with an application for residency. I've also heard people passing in the past with an application.

  • 4
    It sounds to me like BA was incorrect to turn you away. I would seek compensation if I were you. – phoog Jan 10 at 18:24
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    @phoog thanks for the backup, I sent the claim today – Preston Jan 10 at 20:03

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