Visiting France this Summer? 8 Quick Answers to Your Covid Travel FAQs

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Visiting France this Summer? 8 Quick Answers to Your Covid Travel FAQs

From post-Brexit changes to Covid-19 restrictions, it’s been hard to keep track of all the rules and regulations regarding travelling to France over the last two years. The good news is that most countries (including the US & Canada, the EU, and the UK) are now on the green list of France’s traffic light system for travel, meaning that both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers may travel to France this summer.

But what exactly are the current Covid-19 rules in France? To get you started, here are 8 quick answers to some of your most commonly asked Covid-related travel questions.

1. Do I need a booster vaccine to be counted as ‘vaccinated’ in France?

Yes. As of January 30th, 2022, all travellers to France over the age of 18 must have received a booster vaccine within nine months (270 days) of your second or final vaccine dose in order to be considered “fully vaccinated” for entry to France. Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, and Janssen vaccine protocols are all accepted, and you can either present your EU digital vaccine pass or non-EU vaccination certificate at the border.

2. Do I still need to fill in a sworn statement or passenger locator form to travel to France?

No. Passenger locator forms and sworn statements are no longer required to enter or leave France. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. Be sure to check the rules of the country you are travelling to or from, too.

3. Do I need to take a Covid-19 test to travel to France?

No. Vaccinated travellers no longer need to take a test prior to travelling to France. However, proof of a negative Covid-19 test must be presented by all unvaccinated travellers. For travellers from Green-list countries, this must be taken within 72 hours for a PCR test or within 48 hours for an antigen test.

4. Do I still need to wear a mask?

No, but you should pack a few just in case! It is no longer a requirement to wear masks in any indoor or outdoor public space in France, except for in health establishments such as hospitals and care homes. However, they are still recommended for use on public transport, and private businesses retain the right to impose mask-wearing requirements, so it’s a good idea to keep a mask or two handy just in case!

With Covid cases climbing again, these rules might also change either locally or nationally – in fact, the city of Nice has re-introduced mask-wearing rules on public transport from July 11th. Be sure to double-check the latest requirements prior to travel.

5. What should I do if I get Covid while in France?

If you test positive for Covid-19 while travelling in France, you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are fully vaccinated, you should self-isolate for 7 days after the onset of symptoms or the results of a positive test; for the unvaccinated, this is 10 days. The self-isolation may be ended on Day 5 (if vaccinated) or Day 7 (if unvaccinated) with a negative antigen or PCR test, providing that you have been symptomless for a minimum of 48 hours.

6. Do I need a Vaccine Pass and/or Health Pass?

No. France’s vaccine pass was suspended in March 2022, meaning that you no longer need to show proof of vaccination in order to access bars, restaurants, public events, and tourist attractions.

7. Can I get a Covid-19 test in France?

Yes. Covid-19 tests are carried out by most pharmacies in France – ask for a ‘dépistage du Covid’ or ‘test Covid’. Many pharmacies offer antigen tests ‘sans rendez-vous’ (walk-in tests), but it’s a good idea to pre-book a slot if you need it for a specific date – appointments can fill up during busy travel periods. You can also book a test via Doctolib or search for a pharmacy or test centre here for a test. All PCR and antigen tests in France are valid for travel and are free for fully vaccinated French residents; however, tourists will need to pay €22 for an antigen test or €54 for a PCR test.

8. Can I get a buy Covid-19 self-tests/ rapid lateral flow tests in France?

Yes. Covid-19 home tests are available from pharmacies in France – ask for an ‘auto-test’. The maximum price you will pay is €6, but most are cheaper than that, and multi-test packs are often available.

*Please note that while the above information was correct at the time of publishing, travel rules and Covid-19 regulations are always subject to change. Be sure to double-check the latest travel information with your transport provider or the French government’s travel page here prior to travel.  

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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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Comments

  • Dawn Shrives
    2022-05-31 10:22:57
    Dawn Shrives
    Please can you clarify what happens if you have received both covid vaccines but not a booster. It states you must have had a booster within 270 days of your last vaccine. So if you haven’t do you take a pcr or get a booster?? But then you don’t qualify under the 270 day rule? There are so many alternative situations to this rule it is hard to understand what is classed as ‘fully vaccinated’

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-01 16:15:57
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Dawn,

      If you have received two covid vaccines but no booster, you will not be counted as "fully vaccinated" in France and will therefore fall under the rules of the "unvaccinated". If you are travelling from a green list country, for example, this would mean that a Covid test is required prior to travel.

      Note that you may receive your Covid booster at any time after the 270 days and will then once again be counted as "fully vaccinated".
      Safe travels! Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Gail
    2022-05-31 06:06:22
    Gail
    You don’t mention anything about the Covid Recovery certificate and it’s validity at French borders.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-01 16:25:36
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Gail,

      Covid Recovery certificates issued within 6 months are accepted for entry to France in the absence of a booster shot (i.e. for travellers counted as "unvaccinated"). However, after your certificate has expired a booster shot will still be required to be classed as "fully vaccinated". The official wording is:
      Unvaccinated travellers must present a negative result of a PCR test less than 72 hours old or an antigen test less than 48 hours old before departure (departure of the first flight when the journey includes a connection), or a certificate of recovery (positive result of a PCR or antigen test carried out more than 11 days and less than six months previously. This certificate is only valid for a period of six months from the date of the examination or test).
      (https://uk.ambafrance.org/COVID-19-rules-for-travel-between-France-and-the-UK-28918)

      Safe travels! Zoe

      REPLY

  • Vanessa Windust
    2022-05-31 05:56:09
    Vanessa Windust
    BREXIT AND COVID RULES Can I move back to France from UK. I moved from France to UK Nov.2018 after living here 11 years. Was not a registered resident but it was my only home since 2007, paid taxes etc. No Carte de Sejour etc. Been back in UK for three and half years.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-01 16:39:03
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Vanessa, Had you acquired a permanent residency card during your time in France, you would have been able to leave France for a period of up to five years without losing your right to residency in France. However, assuming that you are a British citizen, and that you do not have French citizenship or a permanent resident card in France, you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement or the rights of permanent residents. This means that if you wish to return to France you would be subject to the same requirements as any other expat. See our article The Road to Permanent Residency in France for the necessary steps.

      On the plus side, while your previous stay in France may not entitle you to residency or help with your initial visa application, it likely will help if you later apply for a permanent residency card and need to prove your 'integration' into French life.

      Best regards, Zoe

      REPLY