What are the rules for travelling to France this summer?

What are the rules for travelling to France this summer?
·4 min read

France has remained on the UK’s “amber list” after Britain permitted the restart of international leisure travel on 17 May.

However, President Macron announced a raft of new restrictions on 12 July that will affect both unvaccinated residents and visitors to the country.

From 21 July, anyone wishing to visit a theatre, cinema, sports venue or festival that has an audience of more than 50 people will need to provide evidence in the form of a “pass sanitaire” that they are either fully vaccinated or have tested negative for Covid-19.

These restrictions will also extend to bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, long distance trains and planes from 1 August.

But what are the current rules on travel to France? Here’s everything you need to know.

Will British holidaymakers be allowed to travel to France this summer?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Entry requirements to France differ depending on whether you have been vaccinated or not.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated do not require an “essential” reason to travel to France and are not required to self-isolate on arrival. All double-vaccinated arrivals aged 11 and above will need to present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure, however.

Visitors to the country will also need to complete a “sworn statement” (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website.

Proof of vaccination status, such as that found on the NHS app, will also need to be presented.

Children under the age of 18 years old, who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will be exempt from requirements to self-isolate and provide an essential reason for travel, regardless of whether the minor has been vaccinated or not.

All other unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, arrivals in France will only be able to enter the country for “essential” reasons, such as health workers, students and those with family.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated will also need to present a completed International Travel Certificate confirming their essential reason for travel, a completed “sworn statement” (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.

They will also need to self-isolate for seven days after arrival, then take another PCR test following this period of self-isolation.

In addition, visitors aged 11 or above must present evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of departure.

What will travel to an amber list country entail?

Bezier in southern France (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Bezier in southern France (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While France may be reluctantly welcoming vaccinated travellers, the country remains on the UK’s amber list. Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test - which can be a lateral flow or rapid antigen test, as well as a PCR test - with proof of a negative result before they are allowed to depart for the UK.

Upon arrival to the UK from an amber list country, travellers must self-isolate at home for 10 days, plus have pre-booked a package of two PCR tests to be taken on day two and day eight of quarantine. Travellers in England may end self-isolation early by paying to take an additional test on day five (the result must be negative).

From 19 July, double-jabbed Britons and accompanying under 18s can swerve quarantine when returning from “amber list” destinations, although should follow green requirements: one pre-departure test and a day two PCR. However, France is the one country not included in the new rules - in response to fears over the Beta virus variant, the UK government swiftly shunted France into its own “amber plus” category, requiring arrivals to continue to follow quarantine rules, regardless of their vaccination status.

What is the current situation in France?

Covid-19 infection rates are increasing throughout France, with 7,870 new infections reported on average each day. Around 47 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.

Face masks are required in all enclosed public spaces. It is no longer a requirement to wear a mask in outdoor public spaces, with some exceptions, including gatherings, queues, markets, stadiums. From 20 June, there is no curfew in place across the French territory and no internal travel restrictions.

Wearing masks on public transport is compulsory for all users aged 11 and over, with fines for those who are not compliant. Masks are also compulsory in taxis and private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen.

The majority of top tourist sites, museums, restaurants and bars are now open.

However, President Macron announced a raft of new restrictions on 12 July that will affect both unvaccinated residents and visitors to the country.

From 21 July, anyone wishing to visit a theatre, cinema, sports venue or festival that has an audience of more than 50 people will need to provide evidence in the form of a “pass sanitaire” that they are either fully vaccinated or have tested negative for Covid-19.

These restrictions will also extend to bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, long distance trains and planes from 1 August.

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