What the new traffic light system means for groups returning home from France

— 29 Nov 2021 10:33:00 by Kate Moore

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The traffic light rules have been simplified for groups returning to England from France

What does the traffic light system mean for groups returning from France?

The rules for every traveller returning from  non-red list countries, including France, are as follows: 

  • Adults must take a PCR test on or before day 2 to return to England. Lateral flow test will not be acceptable.
  • You must self-Isolate in your home or the place you are staying until you receive a negative test result.
  • If your PCR test results are delayed, you must self-isolate until your test result is known or until day 14 after arrival, whichever is sooner.
  • Children aged 5- 17 must take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative test result.

These rules apply only to groups returning to England from France or other countries that aren’t on the red list. To check the latest entry requirements for travelling to France, please visit the travel information page on our COVID-19 Travel Hub.

This is a simple summary of the changes. To read in detail about the requirements for visitors returning to England, visit the government website.

Rules relaxed for unvaccinated children returning from a French trip with a vaccinated teacher

The Department for Transport has confirmed that children returning to England with a fully vaccinated teacher as part of a school trip will be treated as a fully vaccinated adult, regardless of their vaccination status.

This means that, if the under 18s in the group are returning to England with a fully vaccinated teacher, they need to take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self-isolate until the test results have come back negative.

The new rules still require double jabbed teachers and students on the trip to take a negative PCR test on day 2 of their return to England and this needs to be pre-booked before departing home.

To find out the current red list click here

We’re fighting for school trips

The new rules still require all travellers to complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before returning to England and through our industry body, the School Travel Forum, we are working with Department of Transport to amend these forms to make them easier for school trips.

What about school groups returning to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?

Note that these new rules are for groups returning to England. Follow the links below for the rules on returning to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.



Northern Ireland 

The COVID-19 Travel Hub answers all your ‘what if’ questions  

Children have missed out on so much and so we are making it our mission to give schools the information and reassurance they need to confidently restart their educational trips.

We understand it can be overwhelming to consider all the ‘what if’ scenarios associated with organising a group trip abroad. Our Covid-19 Travel Hub contains everything you need to book with confidence including details of our additional financial protection, insurance cover and safety and wellbeing protocols for school trips.

All information is correct on the date of publication 29/11/2021. As the situation is constantly evolving, please consult government information to check the most recent requirement

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