France has some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions in the world. Although it reopened to visitors in the summer of 2020, the country has been quarantined twice since then, and is now tentatively reopening from a less restrictive third lockdown.
What’s on offer
The historic boulevards of Paris, the fashionable sweep of La Croisette in Cannes and the lavender fields and vineyards of Provence. France remains one of the most sustainable tourist destinations in the world.
With delicious food, even better wines, landscapes and cities to satisfy all types of travelers, it never disappoints.
Who can go
France has implemented a traffic light system that separates countries into categories, with different rules for fully vaccinated travelers and those who have not.
As of June 9, fully vaccinated travelers from EU countries, as well as others designated ‘green’, can enter without submitting a negative Covid-19 PCR test or entering quarantine.
Unvaccinated travelers from “green” countries are required to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of departure. But they don’t have to quarantine themselves or provide a “compelling” reason for their visit.
Fully vaccinated travelers from ‘orange’ countries, including the UK and US, may visit provided they submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure.
However, unvaccinated travelers from destinations designated as “orange” will be required to provide a “compelling” reason for their visit, as well as submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of departure and spend seven days in quarantine on arrival.
Fully vaccinated travelers on France’s ‘red’ list can only enter if they have a valid reason and must submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of departure and self-quarantine for seven days.
The same rules apply for unvaccinated travelers on France’s “red” list, however, they face a slightly longer 10-day quarantine period.
To be classified as fully vaccinated, travelers must have received two doses of one of the four vaccines approved by the EU. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. The second dose should have been administered at least two weeks before travel.
France has also introduced a sanitary pass (“sanitary pass”) which stores digital versions of users’ vaccination certificates, proof of a negative PCR or antigen test performed within the last 48 hours, or proof of ‘a recent recovery from Covid (provided they’ tested positive more than two weeks ago and less than six months ago).
The pass, accessible via the French Covid-tracker TousAntiCovid app or as a QR code, has been approved for use for summer travel from July 1.
Paper versions of documents will always be accepted, along with photo identification.
The move comes as seven member states, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland, deploy Covid-19 digital certificates, allowing EU travelers to move freely in member countries.
It’s still unclear when France’s health pass will be extended to international tourists, but officials have indicated it will be at some point.
What are the restrictions?
As noted above, a traffic light system is now in place, with different rules depending on the traveler’s vaccination status and whether the country from which they are traveling has been designated green, orange or red.
The list of compelling reasons that some travelers must declare before being allowed to enter now includes other family situations, so that couples and separated relatives between France and another country can travel to visit each other and / or their families. children.
What is the situation of the Covid?
France is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, with nearly 5.8 million cases and more than 110,000 deaths as of June 11.
Cases were skyrocketing earlier in the year, with 117,900 new cases reported on April 11. But the numbers have dropped significantly since then, with 4,483 cases reported on June 10.
More than 42 million doses of vaccination have been administered in the country as of June 11.
France relaunched its test and traceability application in October. TousAntiCovid is available for iPhone and Android devices.
What can visitors expect?
France is again in national containment on April 3 due to a sharp increase in coronavirus cases.
However, President Macron has since established a roadmap to carefully ease restrictions in the country, and some measures have already been lifted.
Restrictions on domestic travel were lifted on May 3, meaning residents are once again allowed to travel within the country.
Primary schools and nurseries reopened on April 26 after being closed for three weeks, while high school students resumed indoor classes on May 3.
Outdoor restaurants, cafes and terraces reopened for outdoor service on May 19, with a maximum of six people per table, and non-essential stores also reopened.
Spectators are allowed to return to the arenas, and museums, monuments, theaters, auditoriums with a seated audience can reopen with a maximum capacity of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors.
Gyms reopened on June 9, while indoor dining resumed in restaurants and cafes, with establishments operating at 50% capacity indoors.
Residents can also use the health pass, which stores evidence of vaccination, negative PCR tests or evidence that the user has recently recovered from Covid-19, to attend stages and major events.
The national curfew was pushed back from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on June 9 and will be fully lifted on June 30.
Masks must be worn at all times on public transportation and in enclosed public spaces.
Official website of the French government
Advice for foreigners wishing to travel to France
All Anti-Covid app
Official Covid-19 Notice
Our last blanket
Find out how France imposed new restrictions related to Covid-19 and how feminist street art is becoming commonplace around Paris.
In other developments, the European country has passed a law protecting the “sensory heritage” of its rural areas, and its future for sleeper trains looks bright. Want to know what it feels like to try to become French? CNN’s Channon Hodge tried it in 2008.