Coronavirus Info: the situation in France


© DR

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 24 October 2023

Consult French government recommendations to learn more about travel and health measures in place.

From 1 August, border health measures are lifted for travel to and from France. Although it is no longer compulsory, masks are still recommended in transport, enclosed and crowded areas, in large gatherings for vulnerable people and in hospitals

  • Travellers no longer have to complete any formalities related to Covid 19 before arriving in France, in metropolitan France or overseas, and the presentation of a health pass can no longer be required, regardless of the country or zone of origin.

  • No further justification for travel ("compelling reason") can be required.

  • Travellers are no longer required to present a sworn statement of non-contamination or an undertaking to undergo an antigenic test or biological examination on arrival in the country. The same applies to travel between metropolitan France and each of the overseas territories.

  • However, "emergency brake" measures may be activated until 31 January 2023, for a maximum period of two months, such as the presentation of a negative screening test on entry into the national territory for passengers coming from a foreign country where a new dangerous variant of Covid-19 appears and circulates, or for passengers travelling to the overseas territories "in the event of a risk of saturation" of their health system.

For more details on the measures taken on French territory, consult the Government / Coronavirus Info site.

Other measures and restrictions

Gatherings, meetings or activities on public roads bringing together more than 10 people simultaneously are prohibited.

The consumption of alcohol on public roads is prohibited.

The obligation to wear a mask outdoors was lifted on 17 June, with some exceptions such as in crowds, queues, market and stadiums. However, it is compulsory in public spaces in certain areas, by decision of the prefects. These areas are indicated by signs or posters.

Since 9 August, in places where a health pass is required, wearing a mask is no longer compulsory. However, the organiser, the operator and the prefect have the possibility to make it compulsory.

A fine of €135 will be charged in the event of non-compliance with wearing a mask in the places concerned, up to €3,750 in the event of a repeat offence.

Wearing a mask is compulsory on public transport. Travellers should ensure that the greatest possible distance is maintained between passengers or groups of passengers not travelling together. More information is available on the SNCF and RATP websites.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in taxis and rideshares.

Consult Covid-19 FAQs on the French government website here.

Travelling to Corsica

A specific system has been put in place for travel to Corsica.

Since 16 July, anyone over the age of 12 wishing to travel to Corsica from mainland France must be able to produce a sworn statement of no symptoms

This declaration must be accompanied by: - either a proof of full vaccination status - or, for unvaccinated persons, the negative result of an RT-PCR test carried out less than 72 hours or antigen test carried out less than 48 hours before boarding. - or a certificate of immunity for persons who have already contracted Covid. This proof consists of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic screening result carried out more than eleven days and less than six months before travel.

These documents (paper version or digital version via the TousAntiCovid application) must be presented to the transport company upon boarding.

Transport companies will deny boarding to travellers without the required documents.

Further info is available from the Corsican Regional Health Agency.

Travelling to French overseas territories and departments

A health emergency has been declared in the territories of Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Martinique and Réunion. Measures have been reinforced to slow down the progression of the epidemic: - For Guadeloupe: a lockdown is in force from 8pm to 5am. From 5am to 8pm, only travel within a 10km radius is allowed, beyond which a receipt will be required; - For Martinique: a lockdown is in force from 7pm to 5am. From 5am to 7pm, only travel within a 10km radius is allowed, beyond that a receipt will be required; - For Reunion Island: a lockdown is in force from 6pm to 5am. From 5am to 6pm, only travel within a 10km radius on weekdays and 5km on Sundays is allowed, beyond which proof of identity will be required; - For Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy: a curfew is in force from 10pm to 5am. Only travel for compelling reasons is allowed and must be justified.

A curfew is still in force in French Guiana and in Walis and Futuna.

For air travel to the French overseas territories, a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours or antigen test result from within 48 hours prior to boarding remains an obligation for passengers coming from France or other green or amber countries. Travellers from a red country must provide a negative PCR or antigen test result less than 48 hours old.

For domestic flights between the French overseas territories: in view of the local epidemiological situation, the prefect may impose compelling reasons for departure from and arrival in the territories. The supporting documents are then checked by the airlines or the Border Police.

International flights: Restrictions are decided locally by the State representative or relevant authority.

The Ministry of Overseas Territories encourages people wishing to travel to an overseas territory to find out in advance about the restrictions in place on the website of the prefecture or the high commission.

International travel

On 9 June, travel between France and foreign countries was reopened according to the varying situation in each country and travellers' vaccination status. A classification of countries has been defined by the health data and can be changed at any time. The country lists can be found on the government website.

From 17 July, all fully vaccinated travellers from countries classified as green, amber or red have been permitted to enter France without restrictions.

• 'Green' countries: no active circulation of the virus, no variants of concern identified. EU Member States as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican. The following countries are also included: Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United States, the Union of Comoros and Vanuatu. On 17 July, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece were put on the green 'watchlist'. Fully vaccinated travellers from green-list countries can enter France without a PCR test result. Unvaccinated travellers (from 12 years old) must present a negative PCR or antigen test result of less than 72 hours old (less than 24 hours for the countries on the 'watchlist': Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece). Children under 12 years of age are exempt from testing.

• 'Amber' countries: active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, but without the spread of variants of concern. All countries, except 'green' and 'red' countries. Vaccinated travellers from these countries may enter the country without a PCR test. Unvaccinated international travellers must have a compelling reason and must present a negative RT-PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old before departure (PCR or antigen test less than 24 hours old for the UK). Children under 12 years old are exempt from testing. A random test may be carried out on arrival at the point of entry. Finally, travellers will be required to carry out a 7-day self-isolation.

• 'Red' countries: active virus circulation and variants of concern. Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname and Tunisia. Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries may enter without a PCR test. Unvaccinated international travellers must show a compelling reason and a negative RT-PCR or antigen test less than 48 hours before departure. They will also be required to undergo an antigenic test on arrival and a 10-day self-isolation period monitored by the authorities.

Travellers to and from an EU country:

For travel within the European Union, a compelling reason is not currently needed, but pre-testing requirements are necessary.

Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece were placed under surveillance on 17 July within the EU, requiring travellers to produce a negative test result of less than 24 hours old (compared with 72 hours for other green-list countries).

Since 1 July, the health pass scheme has been adopted across Europe. All proof of testing, vaccination or recovery is now collected on a single pass called the 'EU digital Covid certificate'. European travellers can present the certificate's QR code to border police or airlines without worrying about the language in which the certificate is written. A green or red light indicates whether the EU traveller can enter or not. It is also possible to present a paper version of the pass.

States may also establish additional health measures if necessary (e.g. testing or quarantine).

Travellers from a non-EU country (vaccinated abroad):

In order to facilitate the stay of non-EU tourists in France, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has set up a specific mechanism for issuing a COVID vaccine certificate of equivalence, which is valid on French territory.

Initially, this system is only open to non-EU tourists who are already in France or who will arrive on or before 22 August. Requests concerning subsequent arrivals at will be processed at a later date.

Prepare the following documents, only in electronic format:

  • Application form;
  • Your vaccination certificate, drawn up according to the rules of the country of vaccination, and clearly stating the type of vaccine used;
  • Your passport;
  • Your travel ticket (return ticket).

Send these documents (in .pdf, .jpg or .png format) by e-mail only to the relevant address based on your place of residence. Attachments in .zip format will not be processed.

Zone 1 (United States): Zone 2 (Canada): Zone 3 (Rest of world):

Applications received through other means will not be processed.

To facilitate the processing of applications, e-mail subject lines must be set out as follows:

COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE / SURNAME First name / Date of arrival in France in the format DD-MM-21 For example: USA / DURAND Anne / DD-MM-YY

Incomplete applications will not be processed. You will have to submit a new application. Don’t forget to complete and attach the form!

Your message must not exceed a total of 10 MB. If your application exceeds this limit, we will not receive it.

As soon as your application has been processed, you will receive an e-mail with a QR code. It can be printed and presented on paper, or added to the TousAntiCovid smartphone application to prove your vaccination status.

Information on the procedure to follow is detailed on the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs website.

Vaccines accepted by France:

The vaccines accepted by France are those recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield and Johnson & Johnson.

At this stage, the French authorities also accept the following vaccine combinations: AstraZeneca/Pfizer Comirnaty and AstraZeneca/Moderna.

Proof of vaccination is only valid for the completion of a full vaccination schedule, i.e.: - one week after second injection for double-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield); - four weeks after injection for single-injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson); - one week after injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid (only one injection is required).

Further info on health-related border controls depending on origin: FAQ from the French Ministry of the Interior

Consult the websites of the prefectures or local authorities for more details.

Also visit the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

What are the preventative actions to take to limit the spread of the virus?

There are simple actions to protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • Wash your hands very regularly;
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow;
  • Use disposable tissues and throw them away;
  • Greet others without shaking hands and avoid hugs;
  • Wear a mask if you feel ill;
  • Wear a mask in enclosed public places, on public transport, in taxis and rideshares, in shops, and in any other places deemed necessary by the prefects of each department depending on the local health situation.


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