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Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

We look at rules for people entering France from the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the rest of the EU, as well as what travellers leaving France for those same countries are required to do

18 June 2021

Rules for travel into France from another country

UK to France

What France says:

Fully vaccinated people: You are free to travel to France. You do not have to have an essential reason and do not have to quarantine on arrival. 

You must present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure.

Non-fully vaccinated people: You can only enter France if you have an essential reason. Most of the essential reasons involve you having the right to live or work in France.

You must present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure.

You are asked to voluntarily self-isolate for seven days upon arrival at a place of your choice.

Children: The rules for minors are the same as those that apply to adults who have been vaccinated, whether the minor has been vaccinated or not.

What the UK says: Travel from the UK to France is not recommended by the UK government but is not illegal. 

12 reasons unvaccinated people can visit France from an amber country

US and Canada to France

What France says:

Fully vaccinated people: You can travel freely to France. You must be able to present proof of your vaccination status and a sworn statement you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Non-fully vaccinated people: You must present proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travelling and a sworn statement you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Children: The rules for minors are the same as those that apply to adults who have been vaccinated, whether the minor has been vaccinated or not.

What the US says:

France is classed as a level 3 country by US authorities, meaning “avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. 
The US Embassy in France states: "At this time, we do not have official information from the French government, but the French Consulate General in Washington, D.C. said in a tweet that the CDC card is acceptable evidence of vaccination for entry into France."

What Canada says: 

The Canadian government is advising against all non-essential travel to France.

Australia or New Zealand to France

What France says:

Fully vaccinated people: You can travel freely to France. You must be able to present proof of your vaccination status and a sworn statement you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Non-fully vaccinated people: You must present proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travelling and a sworn statement you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

What Australia says: If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident you cannot leave Australia due to Covid-19 restrictions unless you have an exemption.

What New Zealand says: The New Zealand government advice is to not travel overseas.

EU country to France

What France says:

Fully vaccinated people: You can travel freely to France. You must be able to present proof of your vaccination status. 

Non-fully vaccinated people: You must present proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travelling 

What the EU says: 

Travel within the EU is open. Check national rules. An EU-wide system will be implemented from July 1 to help facilitate travel.

South Africa, India, Brazil to France

What France says:

Fully vaccinated people: You can only enter France if you have an essential reason. 

Most of the essential reasons involve you having the right to live or work in France.

You are asked to voluntarily self-isolate for seven days upon arrival at a place of your choice.

Non-fully vaccinated people: You can only enter France if you have an essential reason. 

Most of the essential reasons involve you having the right to live or work in France.

You must carry out a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival, with random checks by authorities in place. 

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

How do I prove my vaccination status?

An EU-wide system will be launched on July 1 that will enable vaccination certificates to be verified throughout the Bloc.

France has said that it is working on making its systems compatible with certain non-EU countries. 

Read more about proving your vaccination status if you are in the UK here. 

What are France’s essential reasons for travel?

The majority of France’s essential reasons for travel are related to the person having the right to live or work in France.

Read the full list of reasons in our article here.

Rules for travel out of France to another country 

France to UK

Fully vaccinated people can travel from France to the UK without an essential reason, but those not fully vaccinated can only leave for an essential reason and must complete a Certificate to leave Metropolitan France.

All travellers, including those that have been vaccinated and children, must quarantine for 10 days in the UK.  

Before leaving France everyone must:

   1. Have proof of negative Covid test taken within 72 hours 

Tests accepted include a PCR test or antigen test from a lateral flow device. Children under 11 do not need a test. 

   2. Book and pay for Covid tests to be taken in quarantine 

All adults and children aged 5 and over have to take Covid tests on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine which must be bought online from government-recognised providers. For people coming to England, there is an option to buy a ‘test to release’ kit for day 5, allowing you to leave quarantine early. This is not available for travellers arriving in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. 

   3. Fill in a passenger locator form if over the age of 18. 

You can find the form on the UK government's website here This must be done within 48 hours prior to leaving France. Children’s details can be added to their parents' forms. 

When you arrive in England you must go directly to where you are quarantining and remain there for 10 days. The day you arrive is day 0. 

If you are travelling to England from France for less than 10 days, you must quarantine for the whole stay. You must also book your day 2 and day 8 Covid tests even if you will no longer be in England for the whole of your stay. 

France to EU

Travel within the EU is possible from France on proof of either a negative PCR test, a document saying that you have had Covid and recovered, or that you are fully vaccinated. 

A pan-EU digital Covid pass system is set to launch on July 1. Currently, there are a number of different rules concerning individual EU countries. 

For example:

  • Italy requires a PCR test within 48 hours before the trip (vaccination status is not yet taken into account). 
  • Greece accepts either a test from the last 72 hours before travel, proof of vaccination or having had the virus and recovered from it. 
  • Croatia accepts proof of vaccination (and equivalents) or otherwise a negative PCR or antigen test.
  • Spain requires that all visitors must show a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before arrival. 

The pan-European health pass (or pass sanitaire as it is being called in France) is set to be used across the EU from early July, which is intended to ease travel as it will show, for example, proof of vaccination or of a negative PCR test easily. 

Read more: France ready for EU digital travel pass scheme: How will it work?

France to US

Only US citizens and permanent residents can currently travel from France to the United States. 

Everyone must have proof of a negative Covid test or documentation of recovery from Covid 

All passengers including children over the age of two must have taken a PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of boarding the airplane. Alternatively, passengers can show proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from their healthcare provider or a public health official stating that they were cleared to travel.

There is also no need to show proof of vaccination at present. However, people are being advised to delay international travel until they are fully vaccinated. 

No quarantine is required on entry to the US. 

France to Canada 

Before travelling to Canada, all travellers, regardless of citizenship and vaccination status, must make suitable plans for a 14 day quarantine. If your plan does not meet requirements you will not be granted entry.

Everyone - except children under five - must also provide proof of a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of departure, as well as take a second test at the airport on arrival in Canada. A third PCR test must be completed on day 8. 

France to Australia

Only Australian citizens can travel from France to Australia at the moment. There are limited flights and caps on the number of passengers entering the country from overseas. These are in place to ease pressure on state and territory quarantine facilities.

If you manage to get a flight, you must take a PCR test in the 72 hours prior to departure and quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility in your port of arrival.

France to South Africa

Travellers except children under five must present a negative PCR or Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours from departure on arrival in South Africa. 

People entering South Africa via Johannesburg must fill in the digital Travel Health Questionnaire here

All travellers must complete an Entry Health Screen Form either prior to or on arrival.

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