Driving to Spain through France from the UK

by Lorraine Williamson
travel through France to Spain

MADRID – Due to the ongoing corona restrictions in various countries, there are tighter measures imposed regarding travel. Also, following Brexit, the UK is considered a 3rd country. Therefore, for those wishing to drive to Spain or beyond through France, it is now no longer possible. That is unless there is a compelling reason.

Furthermore, the French government had already stated it would only allow travel from the UK for essential purposes only. This is due to the massive rise of the Omicron variant in the UK. France constitutes the UK as a special category of country with an active circulation of a variant. And as such applies specific measures to travel to and from this country since December 20, 2021.


Eurotunnel @LeShuttle issued a statement on Twitter advising the French government had changed its rules for travel.  They stated, “following a French Government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered 3rd country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU.”

According to the official French embassy website, from this date, both non-vaccinated and vaccinated people will be required to have a compelling reason to travel to or from the UK. Vaccinated people will also have to present on departure a negative PCR or TAG test less than 24 hours old.

NHS tests not authorised for travel

Furthermore, self-administered tests whose results are not certified by a laboratory are not authorised for travel. This includes free tests provided by the NHS who have stated will not carry out tests for travel purposes. Therefore, if you do have a compelling reason to travel, any tests must be paid for privately.

Cogesa Expats

The UK government website confirms UK residents wishing to travel from the UK to France, regardless of vaccination status, can only do so for essential reasons, as defined by the French authorities.

People are not permitted to travel as tourists or for professional reasons according to the French Embassy. However, different rules apply for road hauliers.

According to French officials, if you are a British citizen who has residence in another EU country, including Spain, will be required to show proof of their residence, such as a residency permit, TIE, or utility bills.

For people travelling from Northern Ireland (whatever their nationality) and entering France via the Republic of Ireland, the rules applicable to them are those in force in the UK.

Related article: Omicron changes to travel


You may also like