For those of you who do not know already, since Monday June 15th, France is fully open for business. The country has its arms open to welcome visitors from all over Europe, from at least one metre away anyway….
President Macron spoke to the French people in a televised address on Sunday June 14th to confirm the commencement of Phase 3 of the ‘deconfinement’ across France. This means ALL businesses, shops, restaurants, hotels and so on, in ALL areas can open fully, schools all go back to full time hours next week and European borders are fully open from June 15th.
A joint statement from France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed that “In view of the favourable evolution of the health situation in France and Europe and in accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission, France will lift on the morning of June 15th all restrictions on movement at its internal European borders (land, air and sea) put in place to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.”
From now on, all travellers arriving from with the EU, UK and Schengen zones – regardless of their nationality – no longer need an international travel permit and do not need to prove that their travel is essential. The only slight restriction will be for visitors from Spain (only until June 21st when Spain opens its borders) and a request for a voluntary quarantine for people coming from the UK. This is not expected to last very long however, it will be lifted as soon as the UK lift their quarantine restrictions for overseas visitors.
The French government says everyone should use their own “sense of responsibility.” For those visiting France from the UK, there will not be any checks or fines and you are free to stay at the place of your choice; your home, a specific accommodation or at a hotel. The voluntary quarantine doesn’t mean that people cannot go out for 2 weeks, people should respect social distancing and safety guidelines however.
These guidelines include no public gatherings for more than ten people (there is no limit on private gatherings at peoples homes etc), observe the one metre distancing rule (which also means no hand shaking, kissing and so on for now), masks are compulsory on public transport and recommended for shops etc, concerts and sports matches are still currently restricted and are likely to remain so until September.
Visitors from outside Europe should also be able to enjoy a French summer too hopefully, France are due to further relax the travel restrictions on July 1st in line with the majority of European countries and they hope the open the EU borders to external visitors from the start of July.
At Home Hunts, we are delighted that life can begin to go back to normal. Restrictions have been slowly and progressively lifted across France since May 11th so we have been able to move around France quite freely for a few weeks now. The majority of our clients are based overseas however so the opening of borders is a very welcome step for us and our many international clients.
Home Hunts director, Tim Swannie said “The enquiries from overseas since mid-May have gone through the roof, it feels like it’s going to be a really busy summer. We have had lots of enquiries from Germany, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, but we have seen a real increase in the number of Brits, way more than the same time in 2019.” Tim went to to say “We have a large number of visits booked in for June and July already, there is a lot of serious commitment to purchase holiday homes or even make the move permanently to France.”
If you are interested in French property, we are here to help with any questions you may have about the French property market or just about life in France generally. The Home Hunts team are based throughout France and we are delighted to have a chat. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time, details below.