Self-driving Across France with No Need to Quarantine Remains Possible
14th August 2020
Last modified on May 14th, 2021
Despite the new quarantine regulations from France it is possible to drive across France from another country in a private vehicle as long as people do not get out, or allow anyone in. And use the Channel Tunnel.
It means people going to, and returning from, other countries in the Alps will not have their schedule disrupted.
People from the UK can still visit and return from countries in the Alps such as Austria, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland in a private car.
Here is the latest government advice which states people can drive across France under certain circumstances without the need to quarantine:
See here for the full details of UK’s Coronoavirus travel corridors
The countries which share a border with France and are currently exempt from quarantine rules are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
France’s other neighbours of Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium are not exempt.
You can stop in a remote place in France to stretch your legs and if you don’t have any contact with other people or enter any public spaces you will not have to quarantine for 14 days when you get back to the UK.
If you get out of your vehicle at a service station or on a ferry while crossing from France to the UK you will be required to quarantine.
It is possible to remain in your vehicle on the Channel Tunnel.
“Passengers are able to travel in complete safety, remaining in their personal vehicles throughout the journey, without any contact with either another passenger or a member of staff,” is how Eurotunnel describes the crossing procedure.
However we advise everyone to double check and keep across all the rules and regulations as they can change on a daily basis.
Some countries require a period of self-isolation or a negative test certificate.
France has also threatened to change its rules for people entering the country from the UK.
After the UK announcement on Thursday night the French junior minister for European affairs Clément Beaune tweeted: “A British decision that we regret and which will lead to a measure of reciprocity, hoping that things will return to normal as soon as possible.”
French authorities could insist UK arrivals to France would need to self-isolate for 14 days though this may not affect people who are transiting the country.
“Here at PlanetSKI we are planning a trip to Italy and Switzerland later this month and it is still possible to reach and return from the alpine countries via France,” said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.
“It is possible to return to the UK from France on a channel tunnel crossing with a drive from Germany or northern Switzerland without the need to leave the car.”
Basel in northern Switzerland is 7-hour drive from Calais and is 450 miles.
Alternatively it is possible to cross the border from Germany into France near Saarbrucken that is a 5-hour drive and 325 miles.
There are many other routes and they can be done on a full tank of fuel.
People should ensure plenty of food and drink for the journey.
Toilet stops at service stations or any public areas are not permitted.
“I am hoping, and looking forward, to being in the Italian Alps soon but will be keeping a very close eye on the levels of covid-19 in the countries I am planning to visit, plus the changes and likely alterations to the rules,” added James.
Despite the exodus of UK holidaymakers from the Alps and the Pyrenees the French resorts report a surge in the domestic market this summer.
“The big difference this summer is that 80% of our visitors are French as opposed to the usual 50%,” said the resort of Chamonix.
“The French mountains are doing very well with the French market this summer as French people aren’t going abroad so they are all doing better than last year,” said the co-founder of Peak Retreats, Xavier Schouller, to PlanetSKI.
The company specialises in holidays to the French mountain resorts.
“This is good news for the industry, as for the ski product to be good for next winter the various accommodation providers such as hoteliers and residence owners need money to invest.”
French Ski Organisations Remain Positive for Next Winter
“The French Mountains will, of course, be ready to welcome British tourists this winter. The resorts have already reopened, now welcoming guests for the summer season'” said a joint statement from Jean-Marc Silva, executive director of France Montagnes and Laurent Reynaud, chief executive of Domaines Skiables de France.
“All health and safety measures are implemented in the resorts following the French government guidelines to ensure everyone’s security.”