For members


Do post-Brexit travel rules apply to Brits living in France?

Travel for Brits is more complicated since Brexit, but are you exempt from the extra restrictions if you live in France? Whether you're visiting the UK or travelling within the EU, here are the rules that apply to you.

Do post-Brexit travel rules apply to Brits living in France?
If you're a resident of France, some travel rules are different for you. Photo by Sem van der Wal / ANP / AFP

Brits living in France were among the first to become aware of the new post-Brexit realities as they needed to get the carte de séjour residency card and take various other steps to secure their legal residency here.

But while having the carte de séjour exempts you from certain travel requirements, others still apply. 

Brits who have taken French citizenship or have the passport of another EU country such as Ireland can continue to travel as before, while non-residents of France (eg tourists, second-home owners and other visitors) can find details on their travel rules HERE.

For the rest, here’s a breakdown of whether the rules apply to you or not;

Passport validity – YES. Your UK passport of course remains a valid travel document, but it must have at least three months validity left in order to travel. Some transport operators were initially asking for six months validity, that seems to have been largely corrected now, but make sure to check before travelling.

Passport stamping – NO. Brits who are not resident in France, and don’t have a visa, will have their passports stamped on entry and exit of the EU.

Brits who are resident should always show their carte de séjour alongside their passport to avoid being stamped. There have been multiple reports of passports for carte de séjour holders being incorrectly stamped by French officials who appeared not to know the rules – this is what to do if this happens to you.

90 day rule – YES and NO. Non-EU citizens can spend 90 days out of every 180 in the EU or Schengen zone without needing a visa. Obviously the 90-day limit does not apply to time spent in France if you are a resident, which is why your passport does not need to be stamped.

The 90-day rule does, however, apply to all other EU or Schengen one countries, so once you leave France and head into, say, Belgium the clock starts ticking. In practice passport checks within the Schengen zone are quite rare, but you need to be aware of the limit if you spend a significant amount of time in EU/Schengen countries other than France.

When travelling within the Schengen zone, you should always take your passport and carte de séjour, just in case you are checked at the border.

Minimum cash requirement – NO. Non-EU nationals who are visiting France can be asked for a number of extra documents, including proof of accommodation and proof of having a certain amount of money for each day of their stay.

You will not be asked these questions if you are a resident in France, although you may be asked for proof of financial means when applying for a visa or residency card.

Registering British guests at the mairie – MAYBE. If you have guests coming to visit from the UK, you are technically required to go to your local mairie and obtain the form known as the attestation d’acceuil.

The form is for your guests to show at the border, there is no checking done on you as the host. In practice, border guards seem to rarely check this, and there is an alternative for your guests if they do not have the form.

Health insurance – NO. Non-EU nationals may be asked to prove they have sufficient health cover while staying in France, but if you are resident in France you are entitled to register in the French health system and get the carte vitale.

If you are travelling outside France, you will need the CEAM (Carte européenne d’assurance maladie) which will ensure healthcare costs are covered if you get sick or have an accident while travelling within the EU or Schengen zone.

These aren’t sent out automatically, you need to order one and they are only valid for two years. You can order the card or a replacement through your Ameli account, or by visiting your local CPAM offices.

Data roaming – NO. If you have a French-registered phone then you are covered by EU data roaming rules that prohibit excessive charges when travelling within the EU.

Once you’re outside the EU then it depends on the country you are travelling to, but your provider must warn you if you are running up excessive bills through roaming charges, so you will get a text message warning.

If your phone is still registered in the UK then take care with roaming charges, as many British operators are re-introducing them now that they are no longer constrained by the EU charges cap.

Pet passports – NO. If you live in France then your vet can issue you an EU Pet Passport for your cats, dogs and ferrets, which makes travel both within the EU and between France and the UK simple. You will not need the new Animal Health Certificate that is now mandatory for UK residents, but if your pet has an old UK-issued EU passport you will need to update it to a French one.

Food restrictions – YES. If you’re coming from the UK to France there is a long list of foods that you cannot bring with you, so gone are the days of bringing back some ‘proper’ bacon, Cheddar cheese or one of your mum’s home-made cakes after a trip to the UK.

If you’re going the other way, though, there are no such restrictions as the UK has delaying implementing its own checks, so you’re free to bring gifts of French sausage and smelly cheese to your friends and relatives in the UK.

Alcohol limits – YES. You can bring a few bottles of a choice French vintage to the UK with you, but the days of filling up the car with booze at the Calais warehouses are over since the introduction of new alcohol limits at the British end. As a French resident, you unfortunately don’t benefit from the duty-free prices either.

Extra queues – YES. This isn’t a rule per se, but an unfortunate consequence of all of the above, as numerous passengers have reported longer-than-usual queues at ports, stations and terminals this summer. Make sure you arrive in good time.

When entering France you will also need to join the ‘non EU’ passport queue, which is usually longer.

There is discussion in some countries of allowing permanent residents to use the EU passport queue, but it’s only an idea at this stage so unfortunately you remain stuck in the long queue with the tourists. 

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For members


How and where can I get a flu vaccine in France?

Looking to get a flu shot in France and not sure how to go about it? Here is what you need to know about the autumn 2023 campaign.

How and where can I get a flu vaccine in France?

France will begin its seasonal flu vaccination campaign in mid October. Every year there are sight variations to the practicalities of the campaign, so there’s how things will work in 2023.


In France, health authorities recommend that high-risk groups get the jab – but anyone who wants the shot can get it.

Members of high-risk groups should receive a flu vaccine voucher (bon de prise en charge), which you can take to a pharmacist who will provide you with a vaccine free of charge. 

Previously, the French government has defined high-risk groups as older people (over 65s), people with certain chronic illnesses (list here), pregnant women, obese people and caregivers who work with vulnerable populations.

People who fit the description of ‘high-risk’ ought to receive a voucher, xxxxx but if this is your first time getting a flu shot in France, or you haven’t your voucher yet, you can visit your doctor who can prescribe it for you. Then you can bring that prescription to the pharmacist who will provide you with the vaccine.

For high-risk people, the flu vaccine is free of charge.

What about people who are not ‘high-risk’?

Although not specifically recommended, the vaccine is open to anyone who wants it. In previous years, France instituted ‘priority period’ during the first couple of weeks of the campaign when it was only open to those in high risk groups, before opening up the shots to everyone. 

However, health authorities have indicated that the 2023-2024 season will do away with the ‘prioritisation period’, meaning anyone, regardless of risk level, can get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

The difference is that those not considered to be in a high-risk group will have to pay for their vaccine, and in previous years, the flu vaccine has not been reimbursed by French social security. Full details of the 2023 campaign are yet to be confirmed, but there is no indication that this will change this year.

During the 2022-2023 season, the cost for a non-priority person varied between €6 and €10 depending on the pharmacy.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Doctors, midwives, nurses and pharmacists can administer flu vaccines, and the most common place to get it is at the pharmacy.

Ask your pharmacist if they are available for walk-in vaccine appointments, as many are. If this is not available, they may ask you to make an appointment, which you can likely do on the spot. 

If you want to be vaccinated outside of a pharmacy, you will still have to go to pick up the vaccine. You will then take it with you to your appointment with your doctor, midwife or nurse. If you are not going directly to your appointment after picking up the vaccine, be sure to keep it cool and refrigerated. 

Appointments for flu vaccines can be made online at Doctolib.

When can I get a flu vaccine?

France typically runs its seasonal flu vaccination campaign starting the autumn and running until March. For 2023, it will begin on October 17th for all groups.

Can I get a Covid-19 and flu shot at the same time?

Health authorities recommend that those in at-risk groups get both Covid-19 and flu jabs, and they have specified that there are no health risks of doing both vaccines at the same time.

The Covid vaccination campaign begins on Monday, October 2nd.

READ MORE: France’s autumn 2023 Covid vaccine booster campaign ‘will be open to all’

Like the flu vaccination, it is recommended that high-risk groups get a Covid vaccine booster – but it remains your choice whether you get one, both or neither.

What about children?

The general seasonal flu vaccination campaign is aimed at adults, but the French Haute autorité de santé recommends that all children over the age of 2 with “co-morbidities” get a seasonal influenza vaccine, meaning children in high-risk groups would also receive a voucher to get a flu shot. 

You can also ask your doctor for a prescription for a vaccination if your children are in a high-risk group. 

As for who can vaccinate them, doctors are qualified to vaccinate all minors, including those under the age of 11. Midwives can also vaccinate any minor who is recommended to get a flu vaccine. 

As of August 2023, both nurses and pharmacists in France gained the ability to prescribe and administer 14 different vaccines – including the one against seasonal influenza – to anyone over the age of 11. As such, minors above 11 can get a flu vaccine in a pharmacy, but those under the age of 11 cannot.