News Digest: No More Free Covid Tests for Unvaccinated in France

 

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News Digest: No More Free Covid Tests for Unvaccinated in France

There are some important tweaks to France’s Covid-related rules and regulations this week, plus don’t forget to sign up for this week’s FrenchEntrée webinar. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. End of Free Covid Tests in France

One upside to being a French resident, especially if you’ve been travelling this summer, has been that up until now, all Covid-19 tests have been free of charge for those registered for France’s state healthcare and Carte Vitale. However, this is set to change from October 15th. As of this Friday, there will now be a fee charged for unvaccinated residents for all non-essential tests (which includes tests for travel and work purposes).

The good news is that if you are vaccinated, tests for travel purposes will remain free upon presentation of your vaccination certificate. Tests for medical reasons, including those with symptoms or contact cases, will remain free of charge for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents. You will need a prescription from your doctor to access a free test. Free tests will continue to be available for all children under 18 for any reason.

Tests have already been payable for tourists visiting France since summer, and French residents will now be subject to the same fees. Test centres are able to set their fees, but charges are capped at €49 for PCR tests and €29 for antigen tests.

2. Rules on Masks Relaxed

With Covid case numbers declining and more than 75% of the population now vaccinated1, France is slowly easing up on its health regulations. A total of 68 départements throughout France have now relaxed rules on mask-wearing in primary schools, and some départements have also begun to remove mask-wearing rules for establishments where the Health Pass is mandatory, such as restaurants gyms and cultural venues. Masks must still be worn in class by college and lycee students.

Wherever you live or are travelling to in France, be sure to check the local rules regarding masks as there is no longer a national mandate. It’s still a good idea to keep one with you at all times – they remain mandatory to enter many shops, busy areas, and events.

3. Get a Taste of France

This week is a good time to sample France’s famous cuisine and wine – the 32nd annual ‘Semaine du Goût’ (Taste Week) sees dozens of events take place around the country. Food and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and family activities are all on the agenda, with events held from October 11th to October 17th.

Check out the full programme here and search for events in your local area.

4. Don’t Miss This Week’s FrenchEntrée Webinar

There’s still time to register for this week’s FrenchEntrée webinar, which takes place this Thursday, October 14th, at 10 am (UK time). I will be hosting, joined by an expert panel with representatives from international legal advisors Stone King, foreign currency exchange specialists MoneyCorp, and international financial and wealth management advisors Blacktower.

If you’re ready to buy in France (or looking to buy in the future), this webinar aims to answer all the essential questions regarding property and inheritance law, currency exchange, financial planning, and pensions. Most importantly, it’s your chance to put your questions directly to our experts.

Sign up for the event here, check out last month’s webinar here, and keep a lookout for our handy Q&A videos in our weekly newsletters, where we’ll be sharing our favourite clips from past webinars.

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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.

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