Brits visiting friends in France must pay €30 and register at town hall due to Brexit-triggered red tape

·2-min read
<p>Spontaneous trips to stay with friends in Provence are out</p> (iStock)

Spontaneous trips to stay with friends in Provence are out


Property owners in France who have British friends or family staying with them this summer face form-filling and extra costs due to Brexit.

With the UK now treated as a third country by France – and the rest of the European Union – prospective hosts are required to lodge a document known as an attestation d’accueil at the local Mairie (town hall) at least a month in advance of the proposed visit.

The French civil service instructs: “A foreigner who wishes to come to France for a tourist stay of less than three months must present a proof of accommodation.

“This document is called acceptance certificate and is established by the person who will welcome him at his home during the stay in France.

“The request is made in the town hall. The certificate is issued if the host meets certain conditions.”

Watch: 10 ways to Brexit proof your finances

The form must include the passport details of the visitor and proof that they are covered by a minimum of €30,000 (£26,000) of insurance – even though the UK Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) covers emergency medical treatment.

Officials will provide a certificate that must be sent to the traveller so that they can show it on demand on arrival in France.

If officials refuse to issue the certificate, the home owner can appeal.

The Facebook group Remain in France Together told members: “We can advise you that the British Embassy have confirmed to us that the attestation will be required for UK passport holders travelling to France for private visits to friends and family where they do not have accommodation, such as a gîte, hotel, Airbnb. etc, booked.

“Please note UK passport holders are now Third Country Nationals as a direct consequence of Brexit. Therefore please do not vent your anger at the French government for this law. Find a Brexiter instead.”

On Twitter, Dr Sally Osborn mourned “No more spontaneous weekend visits.”

Separately, the UK government has changed the rules for transiting “amber” countries to remove the “Calais corridor” option for British motorists returning home.

In 2020, when France was placed on the list of countries from which quarantine was required, drivers departing from neighbouring nations – notably Germany – could cross France without triggering self-isolation so long as they did not stop and mingle along the way and travelled on Eurotunnel shuttles from Calais to Folkestone.

The government now says: “If you are travelling to England in a private vehicle, the rules of the countries and territories you drive through apply.

“For example, if you drive through an amber list country, then you must follow the amber list rules when you arrive in England.” At present almost all European countries, including France and its neighbours, are on the amber list, requiring 10 days of quarantine and two tests from returning travellers.

Watch: Is it OK to book a holiday to an amber list country?

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