The French Ministry of the Interior has identified its so-called “compelling reasons” that would allow travelers from the UK to enter France. As of today, there is no specific exemption for entertainment business professionals, raising further questions as to how this might affect folks wanting to attend the Cannes Film Festival which runs from July 6-17. We hear that the news has Brits scrambling. Multiple PR companies with films at the festival are facing uncertainty and are holding meetings to come up with a plan.
It is as-yet unclear how long the restrictions, which were clarified today, will last. While the official document from the Ministry includes exemptions for some Brits and citizens of other countries (see the breakdown below), a seven-day period of isolation is still required.
The moves were made in response to concerns over the so-called ‘Indian variant’ (B.1.617.2), which has seen rising cases in the UK in recent weeks and has been found to be more transmissible than other forms of Covid.
As we reported last week, Cannes is having ongoing conversations with French authorities on the issue and one of the options on the table is a potential waiver for executives and talent coming to the festival from the UK, but that would be up to the French government to decide. We have previously been told that the hope is to be able to provide those in the UK who are intending to attend the festival with a clearer picture of the situation this month.
Cannes holds its press conference to unveil the 2021 official selection of films on Thursday this week.
As regards travelers from the United States, the situation remains equally fuzzy. French President Emmanuel Macron has said “foreign tourists” with a health pass (tied to being fully vaccinated or having a negative PCR test) should be able to enter France beginning June 9 if Covid levels remain under control. According to the U.S. Embassy’s website, “It is not yet known if travelers from the United States will be included among the foreign tourists allowed to enter. Nor does the U.S. Embassy have any information at this time about what the ‘health pass’ will be or how to obtain one.”
Here are the French government’s current requirements and “compelling reasons” for travel from the UK:
Requirements for entry:
– A sworn statement certifying the absence of Covid-19 symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19
– A sworn statement to take an antigenic test or possibly undergo screening upon arrival
– A sworn statement to isolate oneself for seven days, if necessary, in one of the facilities designated by the French authorities, and a sworn statement to undergo a biological virological screening test (PCR) at the end of the isolation period
– For persons aged 11 years or more, a virological screening test (PCR) or an antigenic test taken less than 48 hours before boarding, showing no COVID-19 infection.
Compelling Reasons for travel:
1. French citizens, their spouses (married, civil union and cohabiting) and their children.
2. Citizens of the European Union or equivalent, their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner) and their children, whose main residence is in France or who are in transit through France on the return trip to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent or to a country whose nationality they hold;
3. Citizens of other countries with a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, whose main residence is in France or who are in transit through France on the return trip to their main residence in a European Union country or similar country.
4. British citizens and their family members who are eligible under the agreement for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.
5. Citizens of other countries holding a long-stay visa issued for the purpose of family reunion or reunification of refugee families, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons.
6. Foreign health or research professionals engaged in the fight against COVID-19, their spouse (married, civil partner, cohabiting partner upon presentation of proof of community of life) and their children.
6bis. Foreign health or research professional engaged as an associate trainee.
7. Citizens of other countries with a “Passeport Talent” (talent passport) long-stay visa (LSV), their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner upon presentation of proof of cohabitation) and their children.
8. Students enrolled in French as a foreign language (FLE) courses prior to enrolment in a higher education institution, or who have passed the oral examinations in French higher education institutions or enrolled to start the 2021-2022 academic year. Researchers settling in France on invitation by a research laboratory, for research activities requiring physical presence, their spouse (married, civil union, cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life) and their children.
9. Workers in the land, sea and air transport sector or transport service providers, including drivers of any vehicle carrying goods for use in the territory, as well as those merely transiting or travelling as passengers in order to establish themselves or train at their home base.
10. Foreign citizens working for a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organization with its headquarters or an office in France, as well as their spouse and their children or a foreign citizen of a third country staying in France for a compelling professional reason under a mission order issued by their country of origin.
11. Traveller in transit in the international zone for less than 24 hours.
12. British officials discharging their duties, border police officers and customs officers.
13. Channel Tunnel staff (engaged inter alia in operations, maintenance, security) or cross-Channel facilities staff.
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