Traveling to France this winter – Current rules and entry restrictions

For all those who wish to stroll the streets of France, visit the historic boulevards of Paris, or enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower under the Christmas lights, such a thing is possible for a large part of tourists, especially for tourists. nationals of the European Union / Schengen Area.

Before planning your trip to France this winter, here’s a step-by-step guide to what you need to know.

France is among the countries in the European Union that have maintained some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions since 2020. Although France opened its borders to visitors last summer, the country has been blocked three times since then.

France entered its third national lockdown in April 2021, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and has reopened again with caution.

However, given that COVID-19 cases have increased rapidly over the past month and with the detection of the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, French authorities have announced that entry rules for several categories of travelers are now re-imposed. .

Who is eligible to enter France now?

Vaccinated travelers from 38 countries, including residents of the rest of the 26 member states of the European Union, are allowed to enter France provided they follow certain entry rules.

Travelers from these countries, known as the Green List of Countries, were previously allowed to travel to France without restriction, regardless of their vaccination status.

Nevertheless, as cases of coronavirus infection have started to rise again, everyone is now required to present a valid EU COVID-19 digital certificate or other equivalent document. Some travelers are also required to follow additional entry rules.

The list of countries from which travelers can reach France is as follows:

  • 26 EU Member States
  • Four non-EU Schengen countries: Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland,
  • Four European micro-states: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City State
  • 20 third countries: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Comoros, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

Vaccinated travelers arriving from these countries are eligible to enter without needing to go through any restrictions. All they need to do is show proof that they have been fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the French authorities.

Unvaccinated travelers arriving from one of the countries classified in the green category are also allowed to enter France provided they have proof that they have been infected with COVID-19 in the past six months, or they present the results of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of arrival.

The testing requirement applies to all unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12.

However, the rules for travelers entering France from a Green List country vary from country to country.

Special rules apply to travelers from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia , Liechtenstein, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia since these countries are currently placed “under surveillance”.

This means that unvaccinated travelers from these 18 EU countries must present a negative PCR test result which was performed within 24 hours.

>> France imposes stricter travel restrictions on unvaccinated arrivals from 16 EU countries

Entering France from Orange List countries

All other countries that are not part of the green or red list are classified in the orange category of France.

Vaccinated travelers from these countries are also allowed to enter France without having to undergo strict entry restrictions.

However, travelers from these countries who are not vaccinated must have a serious reason for entry, present a PCR test or an antigen test carried out in the last 72 hours or 48 hours, respectively, before arriving at the country’s borders.

Additionally, unvaccinated and unrecovered travelers from Amber List countries may be subject to random testing while in France and be subject to a mandatory seven-day quarantine requirement.

Traveling to France from countries on the red list

According to the red list of countries of France, in this category are placed the countries with the presence of COVID-19 variants, subject to strict restrictions, which are Afghanistan, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica , Cuba, Eswatini, Georgia, Lesotho, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Suriname, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

Travelers from the aforementioned countries can only enter France if they have compelling reasons to travel.

Anyone over 12 years of age must present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result performed within 48 hours of entry.

On the other hand, only French citizens can return after staying in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, as flights from these seven southern African countries were banned due to the spread of the Omicron virus variant.

In addition, to prevent any new circulation of the virus, the French authorities have announced that all third-country nationals, including the British, are now subject to the obligation of screening. This measure applies to all third-country nationals, even those who have been vaccinated or cured of the virus.

“Anyone aged twelve or over wishing to travel to the national territory from a foreign country must be provided with the result of a screening test or an examination carried out less than 48 hours before the trip. the authorities explained.

>> British nationals traveling to France subject to additional requirements from Saturday

French Health Pass – What travelers need to know about it

In order to facilitate travel this winter within the European Union, since July 1, France’s “health pass” has become the equivalent of the EU COVID-19 digital certificate and is now widely recognized within the bloc.

“Thus, the QR Code present on the French” sanitary pass “is readable everywhere in Europe, directly in the TousAntiCovid application and in paper format”, indicates a government press release.

Therefore, those traveling to France can prove their state of health with the EU COVID-19 passport. The passport can be used in paper or digital format, and travelers will be able to cross the border using the QR code labeled on the passport.

After having retrieved their certificate in European format, French citizens are recommended to follow the following steps:

  • Consult the regulations of their country of destination
  • Print the certificate or import it into the TousAntiCovid application

Since August 9, with the exception of French citizens, the health pass has become available even for travelers from outside the EU who wish to obtain such a document.

However, third country nationals are no longer eligible to convert their existing card. Since November 5, travelers from outside the EU are required to obtain a new health pass in one of the French pharmacies.

>> France officially extends health passport requirement until mid-2022

Since the same date, the document is also required to attend commercial catering activities, trade fairs and exhibitions, and professional seminars, department stores and shopping centers over 20,000 m², etc.

>> How to apply for a French passport for COVID vaccination as a non-European and non-European student vaccinated abroad

Travel insurance in France – a must for every traveler

Anyone planning to travel to France this winter is strongly suggested to take out extensive travel insurance covering epidemic and pandemic situations to ensure they can save their money if their trip is canceled due to the coronavirus situation. .

Before purchasing travel insurance for France, everyone should check if it includes medical benefits and low deductibles for expenses, covers at least € 50,000 in emergency medical costs and € 250,000 in evacuation cover. ’emergency.

You can take out travel medical insurance for France at a very low cost from MondialCare, AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance.

What to expect when visiting France this winter?

Since August 9, France has made the COVID-19 vaccination passport mandatory for anyone wishing to access certain events and places.

This means that everyone, including foreign travelers, must now show proof of vaccination or a negative test result dating back less than 72 hours when entering these places.

Since May 19, museums and cinemas have opened in France with limited capacity. This means that the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre and several other sensational monuments such as Mont Saint Michel in Normandy are now open to tourists.

Spectators are allowed to enter museums, arenas, monuments, theaters, auditoriums with a seated audience of 800 people in indoor environments and 1,000 people in outdoor space.

Visitors should always wear masks in indoor public places such as hotel lobbies, museums, cinemas, as well as on main city streets which are busy, reports

Current situation of the coronavirus in France

France is one of the European countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 7.5 million cases and 116,848 deaths as of December 4.

When it comes to vaccination rates, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control shows that 77.2% of the country’s adult population have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 70, 0% of the population are fully immunized now.

>> France recognizes 5 COVID-19 vaccines for travel

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