With the third stage of France’s reopening coming into effect and a new traffic light classification system in place for travel, there are lots of changes happening in France this week. Here’s what you need to know.
1. France Announces Its Traffic Light Classification
Hot on the heels of last week’s news that UK citizens can only travel to France with an essential reason, there is now good news for vaccinated travellers. France has now announced its new traffic light classification system, which comes into effect from June 9th.
Vaccinated travellers from countries classified as green (which include Australia, New Zealand, and the EU) and orange (which include the US, Canada, UK, and much of Asia, Central America, and Africa) can now travel to France for any reason. This includes second-home owners, property buyers, those visiting friends and family, and tourists.
However, non-vaccinated travellers or those who have not yet completed the full vaccine protocol will still need an essential reason to travel from the UK and other orange countries.
Read our article How Does France’s Traffic Light System for Travel Work? for the full details and check out the full list of essential reasons for travel for non-vaccinated travellers.
2. Step Three of France’s Reopening
From tomorrow (June 9th), France will move on to step three of Emmanuel Macron’s four-step plan to easing Covid-19 restrictions. Here are the key changes:
- Bars, cafés and restaurants can now serve customers both inside and on their terraces. There are still rules in place, including a strict limit on capacity, a maximum of six people per table, and mandatory wearing of masks when not at your table. Table service will remain the norm.
- The nationwide curfew or couvre-feu that is currently in place will now be extended to 11pm. You will not need an attestation to go out between 6am and 11pm. Attestations will still be required for anyone leaving their house outside of these times, which you can find here.
- Gyms, swimming pools, and spas will now reopen to the public under strict health protocols and limited capacities.
- Shops, cinemas, and cultural sites have an increased customer capacity, but many tourist sites will operate on an advance booking only policy, so plan any trips out well in advance.
- Events of up to 5,000 people are now allowed, but entry will require a health passport (more about that in a minute).
- Masks remain compulsory in all indoor public spaces and many outdoor areas too (depending on local regulations). There’s a €135 fine for those failing to follow the rules.
3. France Launches its Health Passport
June 9th also sees the launch of France’s Health Passport or pass sanitaire. You can use the health passport by downloading France’s TousAntiCovid App and it allows you to upload proof of vaccination or the results of a quick antigen test or PCR test.
While the full details are yet to be announced, it’s likely that this health passport will be required to enter any large-capacity event (such as a concert or sports game) from June 9th onwards. From July 1st, it is expected to be used for international travel too.
4. Vaccines Soon Available for Children Between 12 and 18
While France has been widely criticized for its slow vaccination roll-out, things are increasingly looking up. Last week saw the opening of Covid-19 vaccines to over 18s, two weeks before schedule. Now, President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the vaccinations will open up to children between ages 12 and 18 from June 15th. This comes after the recent approval of the Pfizer vaccine for this age group by the European Medicines Agency.
If you’re in France, the easiest way to book your vaccine appointment is online via apps such as Doctolib and Maiia, or via the government’s website Sante.fr. You can also book an appointment by calling the vaccine centres directly or through your médecin traitant (GP).
5. Concern Over Covid Variants in the South-West
Cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, which has its origins in India, have been climbing rapidly over in the UK, and France has now started recording its first cases of the variant. Several clusters of this new variant have been found in the south-west département of Landes and throughout the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. However, health minister Olivier Véran has stated that while there are clusters and they are being closely monitored, there is “no major worry for the moment” as they are not spreading as we are seeing in the UK.
The latest Covid-19 statistics from Santé Publique as of June 7, 2021, include:
- a total of 1,164 recorded new cases in France in the last 24 hours
- a rate of positive tests of 2.4%, and 66 new deaths recorded
- 27,838,330 people have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 13,652,005 have been fully vaccinated.
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