France lifts transit ban temporarily, so Brits can go home to NL

Cars and trucks wait to board a Eurotunnel train in Calais. Photo:
Cars and trucks wait to board a Eurotunnel train in Calais. Photo:

French officials have confirmed they are temporarily lifting legislation which was stopping British nationals living in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU from driving through France to return home.

‘Restrictive measures have been suspended over the New Year, allowing British nationals transiting France to return to their homes in EU. Other Covid measures continue to apply,’ the British embassy in France said.

The Eurotunnel shuttle service from Calais is popular with British nationals travelling between Britain and the Netherlands, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unclear how many British nationals who live in the Netherlands were affected by the transit ban, which was being enforced at border points.

However, the British embassy in The Hague said on Thursday it was aware that ‘some British nationals seeking to return home to the Netherlands from the UK via France are experiencing difficulties’.

The French government banned all British nationals from travelling to France on December 18, unless there is a very compelling reason to do so, because of the surge in UK coronavirus cases.


A French home affairs ministry spokesman told The Local that a large number of British nationals residing in an EU country have travelled in good faith to the UK for the festive season.

‘Instructions of tolerance have been sent to police officers 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 this Christmas and New Year period.’

It was not clear how long the period of tolerance will last for, but people who have their home in the EU are advised keep travel tickets showing that their date of entry to the UK is prior to December 31st 2021, the news website said.

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