France Welcomes British Visitors from 3 May 2021
I am getting a lot of messages asking how things are here in France. I know those of you who are in the UK are all very keen to travel, so when can you come? And if you do come, what will it be like?
Well firstly, you need to consider both countries rules. I am sure you are all up to date with the UK rules (I certainly aren't but I hear France is now Amber), so I am just going to focus on France.
Here, we are going through the stages of relaxing our lockdown and we have 4 steps back to a new normal (as things will never be the same again!).
Can I come in May?
From 3 May 2021, travellers from the UK can enter, without needing to prove a compelling reason. However visitors from the UK need to have evidence of a negative PCR test, time and dated 72 hours before crossing the border. UK visitors are asked to self isolate for 7 days upon arrival, at a destination of their choice (yes your caravan and pitch are acceptable locations). I am sure all our lovely campsite owners would help facilitate a contact free check-in, and I bet if asked, could help with any issues arising from you self-isolating on your pitch.
So what about when you are here and your 7 days are up, what can you do?
Frances Key Dates
All travel allowed within France, no need for paperwork to prove it is essential
Travel allowed throughout the country
Curfew from 7pm until 6am. However if you are travelling and in transit, it is allowed but you need to have a French paperwork, an 'attestation' to support this. This is a lot easier than it sounds and can be downloaded onto your phone in English
Bars and restaurants are take away only
Swimming pools museums and non essential shops closed
Curfew extended until 9pm until 6am
Bars and restaurant can take customers on their terraces. Maximum 6 people per table
Campsite swimming pools will re-open under certain criteria
Groups allowed of up to 10 people
France is open to vaccinated foreign tourists from around the world
Curfew is extended to 11pm until 6am (you can transit after 11pm with the correct paperwork)
Restaurants and bars open for indoor service. Maximum 6 people per table
End of curfew
So what is it actually like here at the moment?
As you know Kris and I are traveling around France at the moment, servicing caravans ready for when you can arrive. All the campsites we have stayed on are quiet, but the owners are very happy to welcome us.
Things are almost normal on site, apart from not all the shower blocks are open. That is not a problem though as the number of visitors on site do not require it. In the shower blocks every other sink/cabin is closed so there is plenty of distance between you and your fellow campers. The owners told me they are cleaning the facilities more regularly than pre-Covid times too.
The other amenities, like the reception and laundry are open as normal but you need to wear a mask in the communal areas.
The bars, restaurant and swimming pools are closed, but this will change from 19 May.
The local restaurants are open for take aways only. At first I thought this would be a shame, but actually it has been quite fun. Plus the wine is cheaper! We have had some very posh picnics on our pitch, including this Fruit de Mer platter which was delivered to our pitch, complete with ice and finger wipes!
We have done some touristy activities, but museums and indoor activities are still closed. For example, I am writing this from a village Van Gogh frequented, so rather than go to the museum, we have done a walking tour of his favourite vistas that inspired the paintings, as provided to us from the local tourist office. There are always ways to adapt and we do not feel like we are having a lesser experience. The only pain is wearing a mask in the towns when it is 28 degrees - we had some very steamed up sunglasses, but a small price to pay!
All in all we feel very safe and the whole industry seems to be doing their best to keep us campers safe. Hope to see you here soon!