27 March 2021  /  Updated 17 July 2021
travel to France
 
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travel to France


sprocketsmum
(@sprocketsmum)
Joined: 1 month ago
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As an unvaxxed adult traveling to France, the French system requires me to have a "compelling reason to travel" which is set out on a permit form.
All the reasons are work or education related, with a few very specific exceptions. There is nothing there that I can use. My reason for travel is to support my son and his family whilst his wife has some tests and treatment in hospital.
Anyone any ideas on how I might deal with this? I'm a bit grumpy to say the least that a fully vaxxed person can travel with no restrictions at all, but an unvaxxed person has all these restrictions.


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StPiosCafe
(@stpioscafe)
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 265
 

I'm a bit grumpy to say the least that a fully vaxxed person can travel with no restrictions at all, but an unvaxxed person has all these restrictions.

It's their country so you'll have to put up with their rules. They grant fully vaxxed people certain privileges to make it worthwhile as they are in theory less risk.


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jmc
 jmc
(@jmc)
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 502
 

I'm a bit grumpy to say the least that a fully vaxxed person can travel with no restrictions at all, but an unvaxxed person has all these restrictions.

It's their country so you'll have to put up with their rules. They grant fully vaxxed people certain privileges to make it worthwhile as they are in theory less risk.

If you had any actual experience of functionaires in France you might understand her frustration. The current public health rules are mostly department based but the point of entry rules are a quite different set of rule from the ministry. A letter of invitation and explanation (en francais) would usually suffice at the marie, the usual first point of contact with the state, but unless you were a fluent francophone and a old hand at playing French bureaucracy ( a far less enjoyable game than playing Italian bureaucracy) then trying to talk your way through at port of entry is usually a game you would lose. Purely on principle.

As for the OP. If the family members are well established and French fluent then the maries office would be my first point of call. For advice. If the department / commune has its act to together then there should be a work around as its a health based family emergency type situation. But based on immediate family experience over several decades if you are not fully fluent in French (which they are) then the options when dealing with the French state are rather limited.


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StPiosCafe
(@stpioscafe)
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 265
 

I'm a bit grumpy to say the least that a fully vaxxed person can travel with no restrictions at all, but an unvaxxed person has all these restrictions.

It's their country so you'll have to put up with their rules. They grant fully vaxxed people certain privileges to make it worthwhile as they are in theory less risk.

If you had any actual experience of functionaires in France

You are right, I have experience of functionaires in France . But your suggestion to beg the mayor to let her enter is ridiculous. How much influence do you think a mayor has at border control? Seriously?


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StPiosCafe
(@stpioscafe)
Joined: 5 months ago
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If you had any actual experience of functionaires in France

Sorry meant to say, I have no experience of functionaires in France .


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halfhearted
(@halfhearted)
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 90
 

As an unvaxxed adult traveling to France, the French system requires me to have...The UK Foreign Office "Foreign Travel Advice" for France says in the "Amber List Countries:" sectiona completed International Travel Certificate to confirm their essential reason for travel. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for an essential reason not listed on the International Travel CertificateSo, I'd say you have to contact the French Consulate and argue that there are "exceptional circumstances" that make your travel necessary, namely, humanitarian reasons connected with your immediate family. Worth a shot.


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covidiot
(@craggle)
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 49
 

I think the suggestion to get your son or his partner to speak to the local Marie is actually a good place to start.

My Italian friend had the same issue in January. Her mum asked a local dignitary who wrote her an official sounding letter asking her to attend a meeting at the mayor's office. Got accross the border no bother.

My experience of local French mayor's they are very happy to bend the rules if they think what you are doing is sensible


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MFvH
 MFvH
(@mfvh)
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 4
 

Are you driving?
You can transit France to another EU country.
Tick that box.
Just don’t get lost on the 😉


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jmc
 jmc
(@jmc)
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 502
 

It's their country so you'll have to put up with their rules. They grant fully vaxxed people certain privileges to make it worthwhile as they are in theory less risk.

If you had any actual experience of functionaires in France

You are right, I have experience of functionaires in France . But your suggestion to beg the mayor to let her enter is ridiculous. How much influence do you think a mayor has at border control? Seriously?

Then you obviously have no direct experience of actually living in France. Bet you had you look up "marie".

You know going through immigration is not dealing with a "functionaire". Trying to clear up a mistake in the taxe d'habitation for example. Now were are talking..

In all but the biggest metropolitan areas the maries office is usually your first point of contact with the state especially when you have any questions. Like the case in point. In the past few decades of direct experience the local maries office have time after time been exceptionally helpful in pointing one in the right direction. Espcially when it comes to dealing with the central ministries. In the small towns and communes unless one is a monolingual stuck up expat (which too many blow-ins are) the people in the marie are the best source of information and advice on how the navigate the maze. After all, they already know all about you and you circumstances. Because thats how the French state works.

In the bigger metropolitan areas it a bit more hit and miss but if you are actually settled and living there long term although the staff are usually harried you will find someone eventually who will point you in the right direction. But the key point, as I mentioned, is being fluent in French. If you cannot be arsed to learn the language then its tough luck. No matter how many French people now speak English. That in my experience has been the biggest cultural change in the last forty years. Starting about 20 years ago.

And your original point was? Apart from what sounded like a snide put down of a genuine inquiry. It did not sound very helpful to the OP to me.


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jmc
 jmc
(@jmc)
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 502
 

I think the suggestion to get your son or his partner to speak to the local Marie is actually a good place to start.

My Italian friend had the same issue in January. Her mum asked a local dignitary who wrote her an official sounding letter asking her to attend a meeting at the mayor's office. Got accross the border no bother.

My experience of local French mayor's they are very happy to bend the rules if they think what you are doing is sensible

I cannot speak too highly of the people in the marie. Their full time job is dealing with the central government, both department and national, on a day to day basis so they spend most of their time trying to do what is best for their people, the people living in the commune, town or city, in the never ending battle against the central bureaucracy. If there is a piece of paper or a rule that will help you get something done then the people in the marie are people who will know about it and if you go about it in the right way, will help you get that piece of paper.

The big difference between playing French bureaucracy and playing Italian bureaucracy is that playing French bureaucracy is all having all the right pieces of paper signed by the right people but Italian bureaucracy is all about knowing which rules can be safely ignored (most of them) and exactly which papers you actually do need to make things happen. Only a few. A very different kind of game.

But to those whose only experience is dealing with jobs-worth British local government the French and Italian systems are quite startling in how different they are. Both are games to be played, and won, or lost if you dont go with the flow. In France the enemy is Paris. In Italy its the "system". And the person on the other side of the desk can be your best ally in winning the game. If you play the game as the locals do.


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halfhearted
(@halfhearted)
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 90
 

As an unvaxxed adult traveling to France, the French system requires me to have a "compelling reason to travel" which is set out on a permit form....Looking through the list of "compelling reasons" listed in the permit here there's nothing resembling "humanitarian reasons". That may be because it would sound too general but we have to remember that even in the UK people were prevented by the animals in charge from, for example, saying goodbye to dying relatives. I don't think the French authorities can be expected to be "kinder & gentler" during the Covid panic. I'd be inclined to give the French Consulate in London a ring and decide on your next steps based on the tenor of their response. It's only one phone call.

If you enter France in transit you have 24 hours to leave. If you don't leave they WILL know. When you do eventually leave I imagine border control will point out that you committed a crime & present you with a huge fine.


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loa453
(@loa453)
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 40
 

I drove down and said I was a delivery driver, seemed to satisfy them.


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