France Lifts COVID Restrictions Across the Country

Critical Overview:

France has recently lifted travel restrictions for unvaccinated travelers from the UK, allowing them to enter without any essential reason. This decision has come as a relief to many UK travelers who haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, as they can now visit France with little fuss. With this change, France joins countries such as the US and European Union nations, which allow unvaccinated travelers to enter with a negative test result or proof of vaccination.

Previously, visitors from the UK were only allowed to visit France if they presented a compelling reason justifying their need to come to mainland France. However, this requirement has been lifted recently, making it easier for UK travelers to plan a trip to France. Moreover, France has also relaxed other pandemic measures, such as suspending the vaccine pass requirement to enter indoor establishments and lifting the mask mandate, with some exceptions.

In light of these changes, travelers need to be aware of the new rule changes and how they might impact their visit to France. This article provides essential information about entry rules, proof of vaccination requirements, and testing facilities in France during the pandemic.

Proof of Vaccination and Entry Rules:

To enter France during the pandemic, visitors must show proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or an essential reason for traveling, depending on where they’re coming from. Generally speaking, visitors who want to avoid additional restrictions, such as testing or quarantine, should show proof of vaccination. To be considered fully vaccinated, visitors must have received a booster dose no later than nine months after receiving the last dose of their primary vaccine schedule, if they’re over 18 years old. Those aged between 12 and 17 don’t need to show proof of a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.

France accepts vaccines authorized by the European Union (EU) or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use. If visitors are coming from the EU or any country signed up to the EU digital COVID cert program, they can present their digital COVID-19 certificate or any approved European health certificate that documents their vaccination status to avoid additional restrictions. If they’re unvaccinated, they’ll need to take a negative test prior to departure.

Visitors coming from the UK can present a digital or paper NHS certificate showing their full vaccine status to avoid testing. If they’re unvaccinated, they’ll need to take a negative PCR or antigen test prior to departure. The same rules apply for visitors traveling from the US, which is now classified as a ‘green’ or low-risk country. Unvaccinated arrivals must take a negative test prior to departure.

Visitors traveling from other countries need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test if they’re coming from a ‘green’ or low-risk country. If they’re coming from an ‘orange’ or mid-risk country, they’ll be asked to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated passengers from orange countries must present an essential reason for traveling.

Suspension of Health and Vaccine Pass:

France required people, including tourists, to show a vaccine pass (pass vaccinal) or health pass (pass sanitaire) to board public transport and to enter most venues, including museums, galleries, theaters, restaurants, and tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower. However, in mid-March, the passes were suspended, which means visitors won’t need one to enter an indoor facility, unless they’re visiting a nursing home facility. As the passes are suspended rather than scrapped, they could be introduced again if cases spike or a new COVID-19 variant of concern emerges.

Mask Mandates:

Mask mandates have been lifted in most venues, including shops, restaurants, gyms, museums, and workplaces. However, visitors to France must wear a mask in airports and transport stations.

In France, where can I find testing facilities?

If you require a test before your departure from France, locating one should not pose much of a challenge. Testing facilities are readily accessible in France, with most pharmacies and medical centers providing the service. However, it is usually necessary to schedule an appointment ahead of time. The cost for an antigen test at most pharmacies is approximately €25, while PCR tests can be around €45. The COVID testing map can assist you in locating testing facilities in your vicinity.