Holidays: Latest FCDO advice for France, Germany & Netherlands as lockdown rules tighten

BBC Breakfast: Louise on lockdown restrictions around Europe

Countries across Europe have made the decision to tighten lockdown restrictions just one week before Christmas. Though the FCDO is currently advising against international travel to a number of destinations, it is likely the festive season will still be a busy time for travel.

However, Britons visiting the likes of France, Germany and the Netherlands should prepare for the lattes onslaught of rules with they must follow when visiting.

What’s more, there are strict entry requirements for those travelling to these destinations from the UK which vary country by country.

So what are the latest restrictions and FCDO advice for France, Germany and the Netherlands?

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France

France has emerged from its second national lockdown which has now been replaced with a new night-time curfew.

People in the country will not be allowed to leave their place of residence between 8pm and 6am, except for on December 24.

Prime Minister Jean Castex has warned this will be “strictly controlled”.

Anyone who needs to leave their home for essential reasons must carry with them an attestation form explaining why they are not indoors.

In line with this, the FCDO has updated its advice for Britons.

It explains: “The health situation in France remains severe.

“The French government ended national lockdown on 15 December. You no longer need an attestation (or self-certificate) when you leave the house during the day.

“A curfew is in place from 8pm to 6am, except for the night of 24 December and the following early morning of 25 December.

“New attestations (or self-certificates) to leave the house during curfew are available on the French Interior Ministry website and through the digital app ‘Tous anti-Covid’.”

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However, Britons wanting to enter France may only do so for specific reasons.

“If you are travelling from a country which is not exempt from French COVID-19 travel restrictions you may only enter France if your journey is essential and meets the criteria for exceptions,” explains the FCDO.

“You will also need to complete an exempted international movement certificate and a sworn declaration that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

“You may also be required to present a negative test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, upon your arrival in France.

“If you do not have this result, you could be asked to take this test at your airport of arrival in France.”

Germany

Germany is to shut all schools and shops from today following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Most shops will be closed until January 10.

Non-essential shops including hairdressing salons and beauty parlours will have to close their doors from today.

Meanwhile, schools and nurseries will only be allowed to offer emergency care.

“The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Germany to leave at this time,” writes the FCDO on its website.

“Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.”

Britons are allowed to enter Germany without providing an essential reason, however, they will be subject quarantine both on arrival and on their return back to the UK.

“If in the ten days before you travel to Germany, you have been in an area designated as presenting an increased risk of infection, you must register online in advance of travelling to Germany,” states the FCDO.

“This online registration process replaces the paper landing cards previously required for travellers from risk areas.

“On arrival you must travel to your accommodation and quarantine there for ten days. After five days it is possible to secure release from quarantine with a negative test.”

The Netherlands

The Netherlands are to enter into a new lockdown for at least five weeks, including over Christmas.

Gyms, hairdressers and cinemas will close, however, supermarkets and banks can remain open.

Households are being asked to welcome no more than two visitors to their homes.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “The Netherlands is closing down. We realise the gravity of our decisions, right before Christmas.”

Those who are still hoping to visit the Netherlands will face quarantine restrictions on their arrival in the country and their return home.

“From 13 October 2020, if you’re travelling to the Netherlands from the UK, you should self-isolate for ten days upon arrival in the Netherlands,” states the FCDO.

“If you are staying in the Netherlands for fewer than ten days you should quarantine for the duration of your stay.”

It adds Britons should “follow the advice of local authorities”.

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