U.K Visitors May Be Able to Attend Cannes, But Will Need to Quarantine

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With the Cannes Film Festival just over a month away, France has unveiled more details around how U.K. visitors can expect to enter the country amid rising cases of the so-called Indian variant. Those from the U.K. who can provide a certificate declaring “compelling” reasons for travel before boarding can enter the country. But questions still remain about whether or not a seven-day quarantine will be mandatory upon entry.

On the certificate, travellers with several types of urgent or compelling personal, professional or health reasons are allowed to travel from the U.K. to France. Although the Cannes Film Festival isn’t presently listed, a source close to the festival tells Variety that one of the existing conditions could be used to greenlight direct entry for hopeful festival attendees.

The criteria in question is in regards to “[trips] that are necessary for the pursuit of a commercial activity, requiring a presence on the ground that can’t be postponed or whose cancellation would have disproportionate consequences or would be impossible.” This could be interpreted to include the film festival.

On top of either showing a negative PCR test that’s less than 72 hours old or being fully vaccinated, U.K. visitors who wish to attend Cannes will also need to present a letter from their employer stating the essential nature of their attendance at the festival.

However, the certificate’s criteria is bound to change, and will probably do so more than once between now and the start of the festival on July 6, as the French government is closely monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, and taking into consideration the vaccination roll-outs. French citizens have been required to complete such certificates during lockdown and the quick turnover rate of listed criteria was even the subject of mockery on social media, particularly one instance in which the certificate was scrapped entirely after 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the government hasn’t yet issued any exemptions to the seven-day quarantine, which means that as of now, even if U.K. executives and talent are allowed to travel to France for the festival, they will still need to self-isolate for seven days like everyone else. However, according to a source at the health ministry, this can be at a residence of their choice, rather than a government-mandated hotel.

The Cannes Film Festival is currently having discussions with the French government to obtain quarantine exemptions for registered guests for the festival and market.

A source at the interior ministry said that if the French government decides to waive the quarantine for certain Cannes participants traveling from the U.K., it will issue a decree that will be applied by the interior ministry. Such exemptions have been given by Spain’s government to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which takes place from June 28 to July 1.

Cannes will unveil its Official Selection on Thursday (June 3).

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