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Old 21.04.2020, 15:05
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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For travelling through as well, Borders opened between Geneva / France yesterday.
Er, not exactly. A few (five I think) additional crossings opened between Geneva and France voisine to French residents with valid Swiss work permits (etc.). Three hours in the morning coming into Switzerland and 3 hours in the evening going back. One of those is limited to health workers only.
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  #22  
Old 21.04.2020, 15:06
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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Has anyone British here with permanent residence status in Switzerland actually driven back to the U.K. via France?
A friend of ours did just last week. He made sure he had all the paperwork in order before he left and had no problems whatsoever driving through France.
He had to explain the reason for his journey and show his paperwork a couple of times en route but nobody had a problem with it as he had a valid reason for transiting through France.


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For travelling through as well, Borders opened between Geneva / France yesterday.
Five of them opened but only at specific times of the day and only for certain specific people.
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  #23  
Old 21.04.2020, 15:13
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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A friend of ours did just last week. He made sure he had all the paperwork in order before he left and had no problems whatsoever driving through France.
He had to explain the reason for his journey and show his paperwork a couple of times en route but nobody had a problem with it as he had a valid reason for transiting through France.
What was the valid reason? You can be vague if needs be? Just wondering.
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Old 21.04.2020, 15:16
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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What was the valid reason? You can be vague if needs be? Just wondering.
His mother had a bad accident, lives alone in the UK and he is an only child.
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Old 21.04.2020, 15:20
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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Er, not exactly. A few (five I think) additional crossings opened between Geneva and France voisine to French residents with valid Swiss work permits (etc.). Three hours in the morning coming into Switzerland and 3 hours in the evening going back. One of those is limited to health workers only.
I know people who have been flying out of GVA for the last month coming from France, they either drove themselves or went with a transfer company. It's always been possible to cross the border for the right reason.
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Old 21.04.2020, 15:29
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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There are currently about 3 flights a week to London from GVA if that's an alternative for you. Maybe from Zurich too.
There's nothing to stop you flying to the UK. It would be the least hassle and airlines are practising social distancing on their flights.

These are your options over the next few days:

Tue 21 Apr ZRH 1710 - 1755 LHR Chf 218 Swiss
Wed 22 Apr GVA 1255 - 1440 LHR Chf 264 Swiss
Thu 23 Apr ZRH 1710 - 1755 LHR Chf 157 Swiss
Fri 24 Apr ZRH 1710 - 1755 LHR Chf 179 Swiss
Fri 24 Apr GVA 1255 - 1440 LHR Chf 314 Swiss
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  #27  
Old 21.04.2020, 15:53
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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I know people who have been flying out of GVA for the last month coming from France, they either drove themselves or went with a transfer company. It's always been possible to cross the border for the right reason.
There are several borders that have remained open for transit and anybody with a valid reason has been able to use them, the five they opened yesterday are more restricted and are for specific purposes.
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Old 21.04.2020, 16:12
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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I know people who have been flying out of GVA for the last month coming from France, they either drove themselves or went with a transfer company. It's always been possible to cross the border for the right reason.
The airport has a French side, accessed from France on the route Ferney, just before the border. From there you can enter the airside area in the terminal, without entering Switzerland.
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Old 21.04.2020, 16:31
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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The airport has a French side, accessed from France on the route Ferney, just before the border. From there you can enter the airside area in the terminal, without entering Switzerland.
Really, you have to go through the customs inside the Airport just like in Basel, however it's often unmanned. I doubt it's unmanned today. In Basel just go to the canteen on the top floor, one side is CH other French
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  #30  
Old 21.04.2020, 17:16
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

You ‘go through’ French customs as you are leaving France, even if on a flight to France. But you would only go through Swiss customs if travelling non-schengen or going through the exit into Switzerland.
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  #31  
Old 21.04.2020, 17:48
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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The airport has a French side, accessed from France on the route Ferney, just before the border. From there you can enter the airside area in the terminal, without entering Switzerland.
There are special agreements (with a suitable permit) for both the airport and for Geneva main railway station (which is definitely in Switzerland).
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  #32  
Old 23.04.2020, 16:05
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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I believe if you are a U.K. national with permanent residence in the U.K, you are allowed to cross France to get to the U.K.
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Small correction - UK nationals can return whether they have permanent residence or not, non-nationals if they have permanent residence.

Same basically applies on returning to CH (CH nationals or permanent residents...plus cross border workers).
Would you be so kind as to let me know where you got this information? I've been searching and can find nothing on UK Government websites stating that only people with permanent UK residence will be allowed into the country. The only advice I can see as they advise against all but essential travel.
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Old 23.04.2020, 16:16
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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Would you be so kind as to let me know where you got this information? I've been searching and can find nothing on UK Government websites stating that only people with permanent UK residence will be allowed into the country. The only advice I can see as they advise against all but essential travel.

I have been searching as well and I think the problem is the French authorities not UK and whether the French will allow you enter France. Pretty sure UK will let you in with a UK passport but the French seem to want proof of a UK address. While I do still have a UK postal address not sure whether the French would accept it when driving a Swiss car
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  #34  
Old 23.04.2020, 16:32
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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Would you be so kind as to let me know where you got this information? I've been searching and can find nothing on UK Government websites stating that only people with permanent UK residence will be allowed into the country. The only advice I can see as they advise against all but essential travel.
The problem is that whether your journey is "essential travel" is not up to you and perhaps not up to the French border Police but at the whim of any French Police who will stop you on the French roads.

So the problem is not getting into the U.K. but crossing France.

It is possible though as experienced by one of Belgianmum's friends.
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Old 23.04.2020, 16:39
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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The problem is that whether your journey is "essential travel" is not up to you and perhaps not up to the French border Police but at the whim of any French Police who will stop you on the French roads.

So the problem is not getting into the U.K. but crossing France.

It is possible though as experienced by one of Belgianmum's friends.

I am hoping that I never have to put it to the test as the only reason for travel back to UK would be family medical emergency. As I would need to take the dog with me, driving would be the only option. He has a UK passport as well
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  #36  
Old 23.04.2020, 16:44
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

Yep, same here. Our dog just cannot be left in kennels so the only travel we can do is by car, wth her.

Last edited by Odile; 26.04.2020 at 12:38.
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Old 23.04.2020, 16:53
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

This is on the website for French nationals living in the U.K.


I’m a European national. Can I transit through France?

In view of the health situation and containment measures decided in France and the UK, it is essential for non-essential national and international travel to be restricted to what is absolutely necessary.

Nationals of European Union or Schengen Area countries may transit through France to reach their country of origin on presentation of a proof of address in their country of origin.


And here's the important bit:

Only the transport companies and/or staff responsible for border checks are authorized to decide on whether the supporting documents are permissible or not.

Proof includes a resident permit. There is no definitive list.


Website here
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Old 23.04.2020, 19:55
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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I have been searching as well and I think the problem is the French authorities not UK and whether the French will allow you enter France. Pretty sure UK will let you in with a UK passport but the French seem to want proof of a UK address. While I do still have a UK postal address not sure whether the French would accept it when driving a Swiss car
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This is on the website for French nationals living in the U.K.


I’m a European national. Can I transit through France?

In view of the health situation and containment measures decided in France and the UK, it is essential for non-essential national and international travel to be restricted to what is absolutely necessary.

Nationals of European Union or Schengen Area countries may transit through France to reach their country of origin on presentation of a proof of address in their country of origin.


And here's the important bit:

Only the transport companies and/or staff responsible for border checks are authorized to decide on whether the supporting documents are permissible or not.

Proof includes a resident permit. There is no definitive list.


Website here
Proof of a UK address is pretty hard to come by unless you have a utility bill or bank statement to hand as there are no residence permits in the UK for UK nationals. Even harder if one is travelling back to help a relative and doesn't have any proof of address. I think a gamble would have to be taken that by ticking the field Déplacements pour motif familial impérieux, pour l’assistance aux personnes vulnérables ou la garde d’enfants / Travels for family reasons, to assist vulnerable individuals, or for child care. would be sufficient for French authorities.
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  #39  
Old 26.04.2020, 08:19
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

Reports in the papers this morning of the UK about to bring in a strict 2 week quarantine for ALL arrivals at ports and airports (very much closing the stable door after the horse has bolted). Something to keep an eye on for people thinking about travelling.
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Old 26.04.2020, 11:55
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Re: Driving to the UK during the Lockdown

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Proof of a UK address is pretty hard to come by unless you have a utility bill or bank statement to hand as there are no residence permits in the UK for UK nationals. Even harder if one is travelling back to help a relative and doesn't have any proof of address. I think a gamble would have to be taken that by ticking the field Déplacements pour motif familial impérieux, pour l’assistance aux personnes vulnérables ou la garde d’enfants / Travels for family reasons, to assist vulnerable individuals, or for child care. would be sufficient for French authorities.
I'm not sure this is entirely valid regarding proof of identity. I just had a quick look about what the current situation is regarding UK driving licences. I still have an old paper pink one stamped as revoked by the Swiss authorities (its 30 years old). It has a full UK address on it. So, out of curiosity, I've checked online as to what the situation now is, and these still seem to have a UK address. Of course, I am aware that not everyone drives.

(This is a stamped "test sample")
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Last edited by me.anon; 26.04.2020 at 12:15. Reason: substituted an image link for a picture
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