France relaxes ban on UK travelers trying to return to EU homes
December 30 (UPI) – The French government on Thursday lifted its block on British citizens seeking to transit through France to return home to the European Union.
France implemented the restriction earlier this month as COVID-19 cases exploded to record numbers in the country. On December 18, British citizens without a French residence were no longer allowed to travel to or through France with a few exceptions.
These British citizens were considered “third country nationals” and therefore could not cross France by road or train, including via the Channel Tunnel.
BBC News reported that the British were surprised to learn that there were no exemptions in place to allow citizens to cross France to their homes in EU countries. This was particularly problematic for Britons trying to return to their European homes after visiting Britain during the holidays.
The Eurotunnel, the train that carries passengers and their vehicles through the Channel Tunnel, has turned back many British nationals due to the new rules this week, Politics reported.
The French Home Office said on Thursday that the rules would be relaxed as many Britons traveled to Britain for the holidays “in good faith” and now find themselves unable to return home to the EU .
“Faced with this situation, tolerance instructions were sent to the police at the borders with the United Kingdom, in order to allow these nationals to transit through France to reach their residence in a country of the European Union, after Christmas and the New Year. Period of one year, “the ministry said on Thursday.
The new rules will allow Britons living in the EU to pass through France if they initially made their trip to Britain before Tuesday.