How Does France’s Traffic Light System for Travel Work?

 

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How Does France’s Traffic Light System for Travel Work?

From June 9th, all travellers entering France must follow the rules according to the new traffic light classification for travel system. Countries have been designated green, orange, or red, and the rules for entry also vary depending on whether or not you have been vaccinated. Here’s everything you need to know.

Which Countries Are Green, Orange, and Red?

France’s traffic light classification system sees all countries listed as Green, Orange, and Red. See the map below for the full breakdown of countries.

Green countries

Green countries are areas where the virus isn’t widely circulating. These include the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and Korea. All EU and Schengen zone countries are also green.

Orange countries

Orange countries are areas where the virus is still circulating widely but is seen to be under control with no impending worry of variants. Most countries are listed as orange including the UK, Russia, and much of Asia, Africa, and Central America.

Red countries

Red countries are areas where wide circulation of the virus is still a concern, as well as a “worrying presence of Covid variants”. All but essential travel is banned to these countries. Red countries include South Africa, Brazil, India, Costa Rica, Turkey, Argentina, and Bahrain.

What Are The Rules for Travel to France?

There are two things you need to take into account:

  • The country you are travelling from and its classification – red, orange, or green
  • Your vaccination status – different rules are in place for fully vaccinated travellers

How does this work in practice? The full list of rules and requirements for each category are shown in the table below (in French), but these are the basics of what you need to know. To find the latest rules for the country you are travelling to or from, head over to the French government page here and use the search function to search for the specific destination. All travellers will still need to fill in a declaration stating that they have no Covid-19 symptoms, which you can download here.

Travelling to France from a Green Country

  • Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers can enter France for any reason including visiting a second home, visiting friends and family, or tourism.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, there are no additional entry requirements, but you will need to show proof of vaccination (see below). You will also, of course, need to follow any non-Covid related rules regarding visas or entrance to the EU depending on your country of origin.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must present a negative Covid-19 test (an “RT-PCR-COVID” virological screening test or an antigenic test), which must be carried out less than 48 hours before departure (for connecting flights, this is from the departure time of the first flight). Travellers under 11 years old do not need to take a test.

Travelling to France from an Orange Country

  • Fully vaccinated travellers can enter France for any reason including visiting a second home, visiting friends and family, or tourism.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you will need to show proof of vaccination (see below) but you no longer need to take a Covid test. You will also, of course, need to follow any non-Covid related rules regarding visas or entrance to the EU depending on your country of origin.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers can only enter France with an essential reason, which does not include property owners, family visits, or tourism of any kind. You can see the full list of the essential reasons here.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers must present proof of their essential reason for travel and a negative Covid-19 test (an “RT-PCR-COVID” virological screening test or an antigenic test), which must be carried out less than 48 hours before departure (for connecting flights, this is from the departure time of the first flight). *NOTE: For travellers from the UK, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Cyprus or Greece, this must be taken within 24 hours of departure*As of Travellers under 11 years old do not need to take a test. You must also self-isolate for seven days and take a second test following the quarantine period.

Travelling to France from a Red Country

  • Non-vaccinated travellers can only enter France with an essential reason, which does not include property owners, family visits, or tourism of any kind. You can see the full list of the essential reasons here.
  • Vaccinated travellers must present proof of vaccination (see below) but you no longer need to take a Covid test or have an essential reason to travel. You will, of course, need to follow any non-Covid related rules regarding visas or entrance to the EU depending on your country of origin. Travellers under 11 years old do not need to take a test.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers have even stricter rules on entry. They must present proof of their essential reason for travel and a negative Covid-19 test (an “RT-PCR-COVID” virological screening test or an antigenic test) taken less than 48 hours before travel. They will also be required to quarantine at a registered address for 10 days (enforced by police checks) and take a second test following the quarantine period.

Vaccinated Travellers: What Do You Need For Entry to France?

Vaccinated travellers must have received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency, i.e. Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). For double-dose vaccines, you must wait at least two weeks after the final injection to travel. For single-dose vaccines, you must wait at least four weeks after the vaccine to travel. You will need to present proof of your vaccination on arrival.

Travelling to France With Unvaccinated Children

The official rules on travelling with children are that: “The vital reasons and quarantine measures applied to vaccinated adults are extended under the same conditions to accompanying minors, whether or not they are vaccinated.” This means that if you are able to travel (either because you have an essential reason to travel or because you are vaccinated), your children will be able to travel with you.

Children over the age of 11 who are not vaccinated will need a negative Covid-19 test (an “RT-PCR-COVID” virological screening test or an antigenic test), which must be carried out less than 48 hours before departure for an antigenic test or less than 72 hours for a PCR test (for connecting flights, this is from the departure time of the first flight). Children under the age of 11 will not need to take a test. Both will need to fill in the declaration form.

Remember that this ruling also applies to any necessary quarantine or self-isolation periods or re-testing. Your children will also need to follow the same protocol and over 11s will need to take a second test.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes, where she writes her blog Râler Like a French Girl, a humorous look at the English-French experience.

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Comments

  •  Adrian marklew
    2021-07-21 07:58:10
    Adrian marklew
    Dear Sirs We wanted to make you aware that in this article ,The rules regarding unvaccinated children appears to be inaccurate according to the uk government website .” Children who are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult will be exempt from requirements to present a negative test result, self isolate and provide an essential reason for travel regardless of whether the minor has been vaccinated or not. Children aged 12 years or over who are unvaccinated and travelling alone are subject to the same conditions as adults” Thank you

    REPLY

  •  Ed Krol
    2021-07-08 07:28:05
    Ed Krol
    Your text says "Green countries are areas where the virus isn’t widely circulating. These include the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and Korea. All EU and Schengen zone countries are also green." But the map does not reflect this.

    REPLY

  •  John Bibby
    2021-06-09 09:05:55
    John Bibby
    Morning Zoe - like some of the other commentators, my wife and me have both doses of the AstraZenica vaccine (February and April) at our local NHS hospital and this was dated on a credit card size vaccination card. Will this be adequate for the French Authorities at border control or should we have something better than this? We have a second home in Brittany and have planned to travel in March 2022 so by then maybe the requirements will be clearer. Another excellent article - you gave me some helpful advice recently on the Schengen Area travel allowances which is another nightmare scenario for us UK foreigners!!

    REPLY

  • Tim Cobb
    2021-06-09 07:07:07
    Tim Cobb
    Morning Zoe - a very informative piece, thank, but you do not say what proof we need to present. Are they accepting the NHS app as proof? Thank you Tim

    REPLY

  •  Clive Bailey
    2021-06-08 10:36:47
    Clive Bailey
    Hi I know it is a pain but it would be wonderful if this table was printed in an English format as using a phone translator is still confusing. We have both had our 2nd jabs sometime ago and wish to go France to sign on the purchase of our French house but it is still very confusing on what we can do or not do ? Please advise

    REPLY

  •  Clearly someone with a brain not affected by psych-ops and hysteria
    2021-06-08 07:41:09
    Clearly someone with a brain not affected by psych-ops and hysteria
    How utterly and completely ridiculous. The dodgy vaccines with 1% absolute efficacy and which do not prevent disease or transmission and France is quite happy to practice medical apartheid on that basis. Hello spain, portugal, greece .......

    REPLY

  •  Lynn McFadzean
    2021-06-08 07:32:38
    Lynn McFadzean
    I am fully vaccinated and wish to visit my French holiday home. Do I need to quarantine in France or take any tests?

    REPLY