June 8, 2020


Over the past weeks we have been monitoring the situation in respect of travelling to France for the purpose of Pigeon Racing.

The following facts are relevant:

  1. The FCF will provide permits for liberations in France.
  2. The Government advises against non-essential journey.
  3. The UK Government will impose a 14 day isolation requirement on anyone entering/returning to the UK from 8th June 2020
  4. As a result of the isolation period imposed by the UK government the French Government will ask travellers from the UK to observe a voluntary 14 day self-quarantine period, effective from 8th June 2020.

What is an Essential Journey? The following has been taken from the Foreign and Commonwealth office and highlighted in italics:

Definition of essential travel’ Sometimes we say that only essential travel is advised. Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person. Only you can make an informed decision based on the risks.

Are there exemptions to the 14 day quarantine? Yes. Initially this included haulage drivers’ with no further clarification. However this has changed recently and the following (in italics) has been taken from http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules:

Drivers of goods vehicles or public service vehicles and other employees of community licence holders for the international carriage of goods or passengers by coach and bus. You’ll need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form before you travel to the UK. You will not need to self-isolate for 14 days. You’ll need to show that your travel is part of your job, for example a letter from your employer, a consignment note or your operator’s licence.

Is the transportation of pigeons for racing purposes an essential journey? As clarified above, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office state that it is for the individual to establish what is an essential journey.

Will our drivers be exempt from the quarantine period? Without the exemption confirmed by the Home Office organisations will have to apply their own judgement. However, based on the information provided above, if the driver can demonstrate the journey is carried out as part of his/her job then they may be exempt.


We are currently working with the home office to achieve an exemption for pigeon transportation that would include those travelling for other reasons other than their job. This is being dealt with by the Home Office as an urgent request. In the meantime organisations should use their own judgement. This may include assessing any risk based on the information above along with further information available on the Government websites. A further update will be provided asap.

Ian Evans CEO RPRA

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