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We must go back to our primary house in France in order to complete our French Residency there. We are both UK passport holders but live permanently in France. Having tried both French and Spanish Consul contacts we have not been able to get a definitive answer.

Our Question is:

  • Other than the covid neg test, what requirements must we meet to travel back to France?
  • Is there restrictions on when travel is not allowed? i.e. night curfews and, if so, is there documentation in being that, allows exemption in order to complete the journey quickly at one go, thereby reducing possibly contact with others. If such documentation exists where can we get it
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  • Can you ask someone in living in France to do this on your behalf?
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 19 at 20:02
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As of writing, there is no other requirement to enter France from within the European Economic Area (so including Spain but not the UK) than having a negative PCR test. Everybody is strongly encouraged to avoid traveling as much as possible but you are not legally required to justify the purpose of your trip or prove you are a resident as long as you stay within the EEA. There are additional restrictions for trips to Corsica, to French overseas territories and when coming from outside the EEA.

Once you are in France, the nightly curfew does apply to you and there is no blanket exception for long-distance travel by car. It's only allowed to be on the road during curfew (6 pm to 6 am) if you can show that your trip is essential (business that cannot be postponed, caring for a sick family member, etc.). You're also allowed to be outside of your residence for long-distance travel by plane, train or bus, for any purpose, as detailed on the form but, again, not if you are driving yourself long-distance.

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    The page you've linked to says "Between 6PM and 6AM you may only leave your residence...." If one is traveling home from abroad, one is not leaving the residence. But I couldn't find the original French-language text, so I don't know whether this line of reasoning is actually available. I did find the French-language form, though, and it seems to allow traveling both to and from flights, trains, etc. What is someone on a long drive home to do? Is staying in a hotel even possible? If it is, it would seem to increase risk to public health rather than reducing it.
    – phoog
    Feb 19 at 16:35
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    @phoog I am positive it would get you nowhere in practice, even if the original French literally said that. In fact, it's “Tout déplacement de personne hors de son lieu de résidence“.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 19 at 19:42
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    @phoog I tend to agree regarding long drives but both the form and government communication make it absolutely clear that this exemption does not apply to long drives, only to transportation by train, flights, and busses. Hotels may open, striclty no dining in common areas, even for people who booked a room, room service is typically available.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 19 at 19:47
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    @phoog At the beginning of the second lockdown (which coincided with the schools' fall holiday), the government announced that driving back home would be “tolerated“ (basically it was already forbidden but that wouldn't be enforced at all). After that, I guess everybody is supposed to be wherever they need to be. The first curfew was put in place immediately after the lockdown as part of a gradual “reopening” strategy. The next steps have been postponed several times and France still lives under those rules.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 20 at 2:53
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    As you pointed out, this involve additional contacts and might sound like a questionable strategy but it is in fact allowed and possible to drive from the Spanish border to Lille in 2-3 days with hotel stays on the way. The most problematic aspect of the last train of measures seems to be the PCR test requirement to come back to France. This has apparently left many people stranded abroad, the ministry for foreign affairs published a lot of material about that but what you are supposed to do is not entirely clear to me.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 20 at 2:55

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