Confusion as Eurotunnel say Brits with homes in the EU are BANNED from travelling through France to get to them due to Macron’s Covid crackdown – but French Interior Ministry assures travellers the firm are WRONG
- Eurotunnel has said Britons cannot travel through France to homes in the EU
- Thousands of Britons have moved to EU countries such as Spain and Portugal
- The rail operator blamed the French government for the Covid-19 restriction
- However, the French Interior ministry said Britons with documents can travel
Tough new Covid restrictions mean British nationals who live in the EU can no longer travel through France to get home, Eurotunnel claimed tonight.
The operators of the English Channel rail link, which is owned by Paris-based Getlink, issued an ‘urgent’ warning on Wednesday in response to tightened customs checks by the French.
They said anyone with homes in countries such as Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany could no longer drive or take a train through France to get there.
But the French Interior Ministry told MailOnline the tweet was wrong, and providing travellers have documentation, they should be free to travel.
The confusion started with a Eurotunnel ‘Urgent update’ Tweet posted on Wednesday evening, which reads: ‘Following a French Government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered 3rd country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU.’
Many Britons travelling through France have faced disrupted journeys as a result of mixed interpretations of Covid-19 restrictions.
Eurotunnel has warned Britons with second homes on the continent that they will no longer be able to travel through France to their homes in countries such as Spain and Portugal
French President Emmanuel Macron, pictured, has introduced new restrictions to help stop the spread of Covid-19 across the country
Eurotunnel’s operator said Britons are banned from travelling through France to their homes in other EU countries, however, the French Interior ministry insists this is not true
French authorities said anyone travelling through France, including Britons, require ‘compelling reasons’ for their journey.
But, as baffled passengers expressed their anger, an Interior Ministry spokesman in Paris told MailOnline that reaching a home in an EU country WAS a ‘compelling reason’.
The line he quoted said compelling reasons included ‘a third-country national (UK included), [or a] holder of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa … who joins, in transit through France, his main residence in a country of the European Union or the like’.
According to French officials British nationals with a home in another EU country, such Belgium, Germany, Spain or Italy will require evidence of their home, such as a residency permit, tax forms, or utility bills.
However, the implementation of these rules has led to growing confusion.
It follows President Emmanuel Macron’s government imposing new restrictions to try and control spiralling Coronavirus cases in France.
From Friday, wearing masks on the streets of Paris will be mandatory.
Local authorities will levy a €135 for people without a face covering.
Earlier, Health Minister Olivier Veran told lawmakers France was seeing a ‘tsunami’ of COVID-19 infections, fuelled by both the Delta and Omicron variants of the disease.
Mask-wearing is already mandatory inside public buildings and public transport across France.