The country cautiously reopened to British arrivals to vaccinated in June 2021, was stuck on the UK’s amber list for months and ultimately introduced different entry requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Now the omicron variant has caused a further change in the France travel rules for UK visitors.
So how will this affect your stay or vacation there this winter?
Here’s everything we know so far.
What are the current rules for Brits visiting France?
Since July 2021, the entry conditions for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors are different: fully vaccinated travelers must present proof of vaccination, a second dose having been administered 14 days before travel, and complete a ‘declaration on the honor ”. honor) confirming their state of health.
In the meantime, unvaccinated travelers must have an essential reason for traveling to France (confirmed in an International Travel Certificate) and a negative Covid test result (PCR or antigen) carried out within 24 hours before departure, as well as a sworn declaration form. Children under 12 are exempt from the test requirement.
However, on December 1, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced that from Saturday December 4, France will also require all non-European travelers – including those from the UK – to present a test result. Covid negative to enter the country.
The test result can come from a PCR or an antigen (lateral flow) but must have been collected within 48 hours of arrival; children aged 11 and under remain exempt from this requirement.
The additional rule was introduced to deal with the emergence of the omicron variant, which has been detected in countries such as the UK, South Africa and Australia.
How long will the new testing requirements be in place?
Governments around the world are tightening travel rules and adding additional tests to their entry requirements, to help track and prevent the spread of the omicron variant, which is believed to be more transmissible and vaccine resistant to previous iterations of Covid- 19.
The decree announcing the new rules (as well as the results of the negative tests required for arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Mauritius, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) indicates that they will come into effect from December 4, but do not give an end date.
However, if France implements new travel rules in line with other countries’ approaches to the omicron variant, it will likely revise the restrictions within the next month, once science advisers know more about the potential impact. of omicron.
What about tests for traveling between EU countries?
The decree published on December 2 provides that travelers from EU member states (as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) can enter France with proof of vaccination or recovery certificate, as before.
Anyone from an EU country without one of these documents must also present a negative test result taken within 24 hours of travel.
What are the Covid rules on the ground in France?
Although France currently does not impose any lockdowns or major curfews, you need a “sanitary pass” with a QR code to access many places and events.
These include leisure facilities (bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas), hospitals, retirement homes and modes of transport such as long-distance journeys by train, bus and plane, as well as ferries. towards Corsica.
For vaccinated Britons, this means downloading an up-to-date, up-to-date NHS Covid Pass on the TousAntiCovid app; for unvaccinated visitors, this means having a negative result from a PCR test or antigen test carried out within the last 24 hours.
The wearing of masks is strictly enforced in all indoor spaces (when traveling, in places such as restaurants and cinemas) and outdoor markets nationwide, while some municipalities have also reintroduced the wearing of masks in outdoor public spaces since November 26.
From December 15, any person aged 65 or over, fully vaccinated for more than six months and five weeks must also have undergone a booster to be able to use the health pass.