There’s relief for vaccinated travellers planning a trip to France this week as testing rules are lifted, plus more changes to France’s national Covid regulations. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. No More Covid Tests for Vaccinated Travellers
We announced in last week’s News Digest that France had extended the 24-hour window for pre-departure Covid tests for UK travellers. The good news is that France has now dropped the need for pre-departure Covid 19 tests entirely. This applies not only to travellers from the UK but from EU countries, the United States, and all other green and orange countries.
These new rules came into effect on Saturday, February 12th. Vaccinated travellers over the age of 12 will still need to show proof of vaccination (including a booster if necessary) and a sworn statement (déclaration sur l’honneur) as before. See the rules for travelling to France here.
2. Vaccine Pass Changes Come Into Law
France’s Vaccine Pass came into effect on January 24th, but today (February 15th) marks the introduction of even stricter rules regarding the pass. From now on, the maximum timeframe in which to receive your booster vaccine in France is four months – shortened from the original seven months – in order to maintain access to the Vaccine Pass.
If you do not receive your booster within the four-month timeframe, your Vaccine Pass will automatically be deactivated. You can reactivate your Vaccine Pass at any time once you have received a booster vaccine. Note that if you have already received a booster vaccine, this does not apply to you – as it stands, you do not need to get a second booster jab, even if your booster was received more than four months ago.
From today, there are also no more exemptions for those receiving their first vaccinations. Those getting vaccinated for the first time will now need to follow the two-shot vaccination programme and wait seven days after the second dose in order to access the Vaccine Pass.
3. Phase 2 of Lifting France’s Covid Restrictions
Tomorrow (February 16th) marks the second phase of the lifting of France’s national Covid-19 health restrictions. The relaxed rules already include an end to outdoor mask requirements, and they will now include:
- No more restrictions on eating in cinemas, sports venues, and public transport. You may now remove your mask to eat or drink at these indoor venues.
- The reopening of nightclubs, concerts and gigs.
- Cafés and bars can now resume bar service (previously, the rules stipulated table service only).
From Monday (February 21st), primary school children in France will follow level 2 Covid protocols (instead of level 3), meaning no more masks outdoors, no limitations on social interactions outside of their class, and the return of indoor sporting activities.
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