The essentials from last week’s presidential speech, details of Covid-19 vaccine boosters for over-65s, and some changes to travel rules for unvaccinated travellers in the EU. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Boosters Required for Over-65s Health Pass
As reported in last week’s News Digest, French President Emmanuel Macron made a televised speech last Tuesday evening (November 9th). The President addressed the concerns over the growing ‘fifth wave’ of Covid in France and around Europe, with a 40% increase in Covid cases in France. Recent weeks have seen a tightening of local restrictions throughout many French departments, with mask-wearing regulations being brought back in areas where the rules had previously been relaxed. Masks have also once again become the policy for Primary school students.
The most significant change, however, concerned France’s Covid booster vaccine scheme. Macron announced that from December 15th, over-65s must have a booster in order to access the Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire). Boosters are currently available for all over 65s, as well as for those with certain health conditions; the President also announced that this would be extended to over-50s from the ‘beginning of December’.
As with previous presidential addresses, vaccine bookings soared in France both in anticipation of the speech and after the announcements were made.
Read our article on how to get a Covid-19 booster in France.
2. Tougher Testing for Unvaccinated EU Travel
Another consequence of this ‘fifth wave’, is a tightening of entrance criteria for unvaccinated travellers visiting France. As of November 13th, unvaccinated travellers arriving in France from certain EU countries (listed below) must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 24 hours of departure. Previously the timeframe was 72 hours.
The countries affected are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Note that the rules for vaccinated travellers and unvaccinated travellers visiting from countries not on the list (such as the UK) remain unchanged. However, Paris has confirmed that as of November 1st, unvaccinated travellers arriving on the Eurostar from the UK will also be subject to a Covid test on arrival at Gare du Nord station.
While we’re on the subject of travel rules, there are also updates for vaccinated American and non-EU travellers looking to access France’s Health Pass – find out more here.
3. New Articles on Visas & Residency
A few weeks back, we announced our new Visa & Residency zone on FrenchEntrée.com, which we’ve set up to answer all your questions relating to visas and residency in France. This was in response to the many enquiries we’ve had from those of you confused about how to obtain French residency and whether or not you will be eligible.
Unfortunately, while becoming resident in France will continue to be an option available to many British citizens, there’s no doubt that the process has become a lot longer and trickier since Brexit. However, we’re here to help demystify the process and provide all the relevant information you need. Start by reading about the road to French residency, then use our step-by-step guides to apply for a long-stay visa and apply for a Carte de Séjour. We’ve also got articles on working in France, all the different long-stay visas available, and what you need to do on arrival in France.
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