From the latest Covid-19 health regulations and post-Brexit entry requirements to the recent wave of transport worker strikes, airport staff shortages, and flight cancellations—travelling to France this summer seems to be full of complications! Thankfully, we’ve got all the latest information (and some insider tips) to help ensure your 2022 trip to France is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
1. France’s Covid-19 Travel Regulations
Covid 19 travel regulations have changed so many times over the past year that it’s been hard to stay up to speed, but the good news is that France eased all Covid-19 restrictions for vaccinated travellers from February 2022. That means no passenger locator forms or sworn statements to fill in and no requirements to present a negative Covid test at the border. Proof of vaccination is, of course, still required, and it’s important to note that being classed as “fully vaccinated” for entry to France does require a third vaccine dose or booster.
Read more in our Covid Travel FAQ.
France is still operating a traffic light system for travel, with the majority of countries now on the green list and no countries currently on the red list. Unvaccinated travellers arriving from green-listed countries (which includes the US and Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and all of the EU) still need to present a negative Covid test, while unvaccinated travellers from orange-listed countries (which includes Australia) must still have an essential reason for travel.
FrenchEntrée tip: regardless of the official information, it is important to always follow the rules of your airline or transport provider. Occasionally airlines have been known to require a test or passenger locator form even when this goes against the official policy, and ultimately, it will be up to them whether you can or cannot board the plane. If you do receive requests to complete certain documents from your airline provider prior to travel, we always recommend that you do so.
2. Post-Brexit Passport Stamps
Non-EU travellers, which includes travellers from the UK post-Brexit, can only visit France for 90 days in a 180-day period, and this is strictly enforced at border controls when entering and leaving the Schengen zone. You can read our guide to the 90/180-day rule to help you understand the rules (it’s not worked out quite as you might expect).
FrenchEntrée tip: Please double-check that your passport is stamped every time that you enter and leave France and the Schengen Zone. We have heard several reports from readers whose passports have not been stamped, resulting in an incorrect fine and an “overstayed” stamp in their passports.
If you are a resident of France, your passport should not be stamped when entering or leaving the country – in fact, the EU Commission issued a reminder recently to border control not to stamp the passports of British travellers resident in France under the Withdrawal Agreement. If you are resident, be sure to present your Carte de Sejour or Residency Card along with your passport when entering and leaving the country.
The good news is that from September ’22 onwards, electronic passport scanners are set to be implemented at many French border controls, helping to better track passport activity and visas.
3. France’s Summer Strike Schedule
With airport and transport workers hit hard by the recent rises in the cost of living, there have been a number of strikes recently at Paris’ Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports and Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, as well as across SNCF train services, all of which have caused considerable travel delays and cancellations for travellers.
The good news is that the upcoming Paris airport strikes have now been called off after unions reached a deal with Aéroports de Paris. The not-so-good news is that there are still strikes planned by airline staff of Transavia (July 13th-17th), Ryanair (several weekends throughout July – exact dates to be confirmed), and Easyjet (July 15th-17th and 29th-31st) airlines. If you have flights booked for any of the aforementioned dates and airlines, it’s a good idea to confirm your flights the day before and be prepared for delays.
4. Post-Brexit Rules Enforced
If you’re travelling to France from the UK, it’s important to remember that there are a whole host of new requirements post-Brexit. In particular, you will need to make sure that your British passport is still valid (we break down the somewhat confusing rules here), that you follow the latest rules on customs and duty-free allowances, and that you don’t overstay the 90/180-day allowance.
In order to benefit from your 90/180-day allowance, you will also need to meet certain requirements, including proof of accommodation (or proof of sufficient funds to cover accommodation costs), travel health insurance, and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your planned stay in France.
Read our guides:
5. Train Travel Surges in Popularity
France’s national rail provider SNCF has announced that they will be putting an extra 500,000 train seats on sale over the summer. The move came after SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou announced a “record summer” for train travel in France, with many domestic and international travellers opting for more environmentally friendly forms of travel.
Extra trains and double configurations to allow two trains to run at the same time were among the plans to extend services for July and August. Needless to say, if you’re planning to travel around France by long-distance train this summer, it’s a good idea to book your tickets as soon as possible!
6. Visitor Number Caps at Top Attractions
With France hoping for record numbers of visitors in 2023 – a prospect welcomed by tourism providers, having weathered a difficult couple of years throughout the pandemic – steps are being taken to protect some of the country’s most prized attractions.
Two national parks, the Calanques National Park between Marseille and Cassis, and the Port-Cros National Park on the Île de Porquerolles off the coast of Toulon, have both made moves to restrict daily visitor numbers in a bid to aid preservation. Visitors to the Sugiton and Pierres Tombees sections of the Calanques National Park are now capped at 400 people (far lower than the previous summer visitor numbers of 2,500), with free access available only to those who have pre-booked online and fines for those flouting the rules. Visitor numbers to the Île de Porquerolles have been limited to 6,000 per day, down 50% from the 12,000 daily visitors that swarmed the island last August.
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