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Travellers, including Monaco residents, are being refused access to their flights at Nice airport because they are not meeting strict new criteria for international travel outside of the EU. So, here’s a reminder of who can fly and why.
As winter drags on, people are escaping the humdrum of life under Covid by flying off to warmer climates, or planning to do so for the February school holidays.
But on 31st January, France closed its borders to non-EU countries, and social media has since been awash with reports from would-be travellers who have been told by authorities at the Nice Côte d’Azur airport that they cannot board their flights because they do not meet the “essential travel” requirement.
This concerns French nationals, nationals of a member country of the European Area such as Monaco, or nationals of any other State.
The French government website states that: “You can only travel from France to a country outside the European space if you have pressing grounds for travel, or if you are travelling to your country of origin or residence.”
“Essential travel” and “pressing grounds” are defined as:
This means that unless you have a seriously good reason to go, that trip to Dubai is not going to happen this winter.
Travel between European Union countries requires a negative PCR test at the very least. Each country has a list of certain criteria and some also require attestations, health certificates or other things like proof of residency and proof of a valid reason for travel. As each country is different on this front, it is highly advised that travellers go to the French Ministry of the Interior website or contact their airline to determine the specific rules that pertain to the country of arrival. Those who do not fulfil the requirements will be denied boarding, so it is imperative to have paperwork in order.
It is advised that, before embarking on any travel plans, the rules be studied to ensure no nasty surprise awaits you at the airport.
For those who do fall within the guidelines of international travel outside of the EU, you will need to fill out and carry an exempted international travel certificate for travel to France, available here in English and in French. If your time of departure requires you to leave your place of residence during the curfew, you must carry an exempted movement certificate.
By Cassandra Tanti and Stephanie Horsman
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