France stops British from transit travel to return to Dutch homes

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

British officials are ‘urgently seeking’ clarification about new travel guidance which seems to suggest British nationals living in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU cannot drive through France to return home.

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

As yet it is unclear how many British nationals who live in the Netherlands have been affected or how many visitors may be unable to go back to the UK. However, the British embassy in The Hague said it is aware that ‘some British nationals seeking to return home to the Netherlands from the UK via France are experiencing difficulties’.

‘We are urgently seeking clarification from the French government,’ the embassy said on social media.

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.

What sparked the current chaos is still unclear, but it appears to stem from a tweet issued by the Shuttle organisation which said on Wednesday that new rules meant British nationals can no longer transit France by road to reach their EU country of residence.

A French home affairs ministry spokesman then told news agency AFP that it had not changed its list of compelling reasons enabling Britons to travel to France, but that it had clarified their application by border police.

‘It seems logical to consider them like all other third-country citizens, and to not allow their transit toward another EU country,’ the official told AFP.

The British embassy in Paris also said it is seeking urgent clarification.

Are you affected and would you like to share your story? Contact

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation