Many British citizens have travelled "in good faith" to the UK for the holiday season and "are having difficulty returning to their country of residence", according to the ministry, which has decided to send "instructions of tolerance" to the border posts.

New French restrictions related to Covid-19 are causing confusion in the UK after a December 28 French government decision barred Britons from using the English Channel to reach their European home, unless it was in France.

Eurotunnel, which links the two countries, explained on Wednesday that "unless they have a French residency, British citizens are now considered third-country nationals and cannot cross France to reach their EU country of residence".

To overcome this situation, the Ministry of Interior has now come to say that it will facilitate the passage of these people, but insisting that there were no changes to the rules and that it was about the application of border instructions, after Brexit.