Britons living in EU banned from driving across France to reach homes

·2-min read
British citizens have been banned from driving across France to homes in other European Union countries, according to a Channel Tunnel train operator (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)
British citizens have been banned from driving across France to homes in other European Union countries, according to a Channel Tunnel train operator (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

British citizens have been banned from driving across France to homes in other European Union countries, according to a Channel Tunnel train operator.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle which transports vehicle-carrying trains between Dover and Calais said the decision was made by the French government.

Non-essential travel from the UK to France has been banned since December 18 in a bid to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid, but several exemptions have been in place.

According to French travel guidance, EU nationals and their partners and children “who have their main residence in France or who join, in transit through France, their main residence in a country of the European Union” are deemed to have a compelling reason to travel to France.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle issued an “urgent update” on Wednesday night which stated: “Following a French government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered third country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU.”

The firm added that it is “unable to answer individual questions regarding the new requirements”.

It advised passengers to visit the website of the French embassy in the UK, although its travel information has not been updated since December 20.

No announcement about a change in the rules has been made by the French government.

Roland Moore, who works as a public affairs director in Brussels, claimed he had been escorted from the Eurotunnel on Tuesday night.

He wrote on Twitter: “I was told being a Belgian resident... was no longer a compelling reason for transiting [France] to go home.”

Mr Moore said that it occurred despite him holding an “M” card, a Belgian residence document given to British citizens who qualify as “beneficiaries” of the Brexit deal.

The UK withdrew from the European Union on January 31 2020, although a transition period was in place until the end of that year.

There has been no official announcement from the French government on the latest update to the rules.

In their announcement, Eurotunnel said the ban would not apply to British people living in France, or Britons that also hold an EU passport through dual nationality.

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