12 reasons unvaccinated people can visit France from an amber country

People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can enter France from amber countries, such as the UK, without an 'essential reason'. People who are not fully vaccinated people require an 'essential reason'. We explain what these reasons are

12 June 2021
A person at an airport wearing a facemask

There are 12 reasons someone in an amber country who is not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can enter France Pic: DimaBerlin / Shutterstock

People who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and are living in amber listed countries under France's new traffic light scheme can only enter France now if they have an essential reason to do so.

Most countries outside the EU, including the UK and the US, are listed as amber.

People in green-listed countries can enter France without an essential reason, whether they are vaccinated or not.

France updated its travel rules on June 9 to introduce a red-amber-green system. Travel rules from the country people are travelling also need to be considered. This article is only about the 'essential reason' rules applied by France to enter the country.

Read our article here for more on the travel rules for entering and exiting France. 

You can find the relevant travel forms required for travel to and from France on the government’s website here. 

Here are the 12 essential reasons you can enter France from an amber country:

  • You are a French national. Your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children are included
  • You are a European Union (or EEA/Swiss) national and you have your main residence in France; or you are transiting through France to your main residence in another EU (or EEA or Switzerland) country; or you are transiting through France to the country of which you are a national. Your partner and children are included
  • You are a non-EU national who holds a valid French or European long-stay visa or residency permit, who has his/her main residence in France or is transiting through France to the country of residence in the EU/EEA/Switzerland
  • You are a UK citizen who benefits from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, ie. having evidence such as a carte de séjour, an email attestation of applying for one, or other proof of residency in France before the end of 2020. This would also include close members of your family coming to live with you. Also included are British civil servants coming for work reasons and those in border police and customs jobs and Channel Tunnel workers
  • You are a non-EU national holding a long-stay visa issued via the family reunion procedure, or the family reunion of refugees procedure, or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons
  • You are a foreign health or research professional involved in the fight against Covid-19 – your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children are included
  • You are a foreign health or research professional recruited as an associated trainee
  • You are a holder of a passeport talent visa (for skilled workers) – your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children are included
  • You are a student enrolled on a 'French as a Foreign Language' course prior to enrolment in French higher education, or admitted to oral exams in French higher education institutions or registered on a French higher education course for the academic year 2021-2022. Or you are a researcher coming at the invitation of a research laboratory or institute in which case your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children are also included
  • You work in the land, sea and air transport sector or transport service providers, including drivers of any vehicle carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those who are merely transiting
  • You are a foreign national working in a diplomatic or consular post, or for an international organisation with headquarters or an office in France. Your partner (married, civil partner / partner you live with) and children are also included
  • You are transiting in France and remain in the airport/international zone for a maximum of 24 hours      

Under France's rules, you can leave France when not fully vaccinated to travel to an amber country if:

  • You are returning to your country of residence or origin (without guarantee of being able to return to France, unless you have an essential reason).
  • You are travelling due to the death of a close family member (grandparents, parents, children and siblings). Or to visit a close family member whose prognosis is terminal.
    Documents required: death certificate, medical certificate establishing the health situation of the person being visited, proof of family relationship.
  • You are travelling abroad in the context of the exercise of a right of custody recognised by a court decision.
    Documents required: court decision and proof of place of residence.
  • You have been summoned by a judicial or administrative authority.
    Documents required: summons by the administrative or judicial authority
  • It is impossible, economically or legally, for you to remain in France.
    Documents required: expired residence permit, notice of dismissal, etc.
  • You are participating in a university exchange programme.
    Documents required: certificate of attendance issued by the institution.
  • You have a vital medical emergency (for you and an accompanying person if their presence is essential).
    Documents required: medical certificate, proof of scheduled hospitalisation, etc.
  • You are participating in an economic activity that requires your presence on the spot and which cannot be postponed and whose postponement or cancellation would have manifestly disproportionate consequences or would be impossible (including transport professionals).
    Documents required: employer's certificate, professional card for crews of international goods transport, international passenger transport, international maritime transport.
  • You are a health or research professional involved in the fight against Covid-19 or you are participating in cooperative operations of major interest in the field of health.
    Documents required: professional ID.
  • You are carrying out a one-off job linked to the exercise of public authority (including diplomatic missions and missions essential to the continued execution of the operational contracts of the armed forces or military corps) that cannot be deferred or postponed.
    Documents required: professional ID card, mission order.
  • You are a high-level professional sportsperson, participating in events validated by the Ministry of Sports.
    Documents required: professional ID, certificate issued by the organiser in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

France considers a person fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines
  • Four weeks after receiving the first (and only) dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • Two weeks after the first dose of a vaccination for anyone who has already had Covid-19

Which countries are green, amber or red?

Green: The 27 European Union countries, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Singapore

Orange: All countries that are not red or green, including the UK, the US and Canada

Red: South Africa, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey, Uruguay, Guyana

Read more:

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

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