Covid-19 Restrictions and Guidance on Volunteering

Covid-19 Restrictions and Guidance on Volunteering

Faced with hundreds of people in desperate situations across Northern France and the UK, our need for volunteers only continues to grow. Thankfully it is becoming much easier for volunteers to travel and carry out essential activities with refugees. Although restrictions may be easing, please stay up-to-date on Covid-19 guidance wherever you are in order to help those around you safely.

Volunteering in France:

Thankfully for those who are fully vaccinated, travelling to France has become much easier. Due to ongoing risks and the vulnerable communities we support, we do ask that volunteers provide a negative test result taken within 72 hours in order to commence their volunteering in Calais. Please see below for further details on additional requirements for travel depending on your departure location. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to volunteer in France.

Travel to/from France:

From the UK: 

  • If you have completed your vaccine schedule you will not be required to self isolate upon arrival in France, nor will you be required to present a negative test result to cross the border.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you may travel to France for “essential reasons” and will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result, carried out less than 24 hours before departure (please find lists of providers on the British and French Government websites), self isolate for 7 days upon arrival in France and complete an additional PCR test.
  • For more information and details on what enables you to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’, please visit France travel advice – GOV.UK or Conditions de déplacement entre la France et le Royaume-Uni.

Back to the UK:

  • France is currently classed as amber on the UK’s traffic light travel guidance system. You will therefore be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form less than 48 hours before returning to the UK. You must also take a PCR test less than 72 hours before returning to the UK or an Antigen test less than 48 hours beforehand (if you are not a French national, please factor in approximately 30€-50€ for these tests). Our team in France can provide additional guidance on where these can be taken.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you must book a day 2 travel testing package. You will not be required to self isolate upon arrival in the UK.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to book a day 2 and 8 travel testing package and to self isolate for 10 days upon arrival in the UK. There is an option to pay for the Test to Release scheme, reducing your self-isolation period to 5 days.
  • Please find up-to-date information here: Quarantine and testing if you’ve been in an amber list country.

From Europe: 

  • To travel within Europe, you are required to present an EU Digital COVID Certificate. This will show that you are either fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative test result.
  • Please find more information here.

On the ground in France:

  • Lockdown restrictions having been lifted, no paperwork will be required for travel within national borders.
  • We recommend you download the TousAntiCovid app. It is the French equivalent of the NHS Covid-19 app and will give you up-to-date information in English.
  • Masks for wear in the warehouse and on distribution will be provided.

Volunteering in the UK:

  • As most Covid-19 restrictions have now been lifted, we ask that volunteers continue to follow guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread and act in the best interests of those they are supporting and surrounding communities. There are however no official restrictions on carrying out activities with individuals or in groups.
  • Please also consider the following guidance on Volunteering during Coronavirus.
  • Your Regional Lead can send you proof of your involvement with Care4Calais upon request. Please wear a mask at all times and sanitise hands/equipment regularly.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to volunteer in the UK.

In addition to official restrictions, please prioritise your own safety and that of those you are assisting, taking into consideration any particular vulnerabilities to the Covid-19 virus. Please always act in the best interests of our beneficiaries, other volunteers, local communities and yourself. Right now, you can make a bigger difference than ever. We will support you as much as we can.

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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