Eurotunnel Bans EU-Based Britons Driving Through France to Get Home From UK
12:19 GMT 30.12.2021 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
On 18 December, Paris tightened restrictions on travel from the UK to tackle the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, adding that Britons driving through France must have a "compelling reason" to do so.
Eurotunnel has warned UK nationals living in the EU that they cannot drive through France to get home from Britain due to new strict COVID restrictions
In an "urgent update" on Wednesday night, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle stated that "following a French government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered third country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU".
The company was referring to the French government's move on 18 December to tighten the screws on non-essential travel from the UK to France after the new coronavirus variant Omicron surged in Britain. France currently only allows travel from the UK for "compelling reasons".
The French Interior Ministry, however, told the Daily Mail that Eurotunnel was wrong and that providing travellers have documentation, they should be free to travel.
Under French travel guidance, "nationals of the European Union or equivalent", as well as their partners and children, "who have their main residence in France or who join, in transit through France, their main residence in a country of the European Union" are considered to have a compelling reason for travelling from Britain through France.
Even so, reports from Britons living in the EU indicated that reaching their home via French soil was no longer considered a "compelling reason".
They included Roland Moore, a public affairs director in Brussels, who tweeted that he was escorted from the Eurotunnel "like a criminal" and handed a paper pertaining to the new restrictions on British nationals.
The French government's website still appears to suggest that British nationals can travel through France if they live in the EU.
Eurotunnel connects Britain and France and serves as a lifeline to mainland Europe, linking England's Folkestone and Coquelles, near Calais.