Five new Covid travel rules for France, UK quarantine included

Covid tests, French red listing, Covishield vaccine, UK quarantine… Here is a recap of what has just changed for travel to and from France

19 July 2021
By Liv Rowland

Several key changes with regard to France’s Covid travel rules have taken effect today or over the last weekend.

To help you keep track of them, here is a summary of the main points that you need to know if you are travelling from or to France.

1. No more Covid test needed for fully-vaccinated people arriving from amber and red-list countries

France has simplified the rules for vaccinated people coming to the country from amber or red-list countries such as the UK. There is no longer any need for an inbound Covid test. 

There was already no need for vaccinated people coming from these countries to show an ‘essential reason’ for coming to France.

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2. France now accepts Covishield vaccine

France will now recognise the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine made at Serum Institute of India (SSI), commonly marketed as Covishield.

This should now remove any doubts over the acceptability of doses of the ‘AstraZeneca’ vaccine administered in the UK with batches from SSI.

Technically, France says it will now accept both European Medicines Agency-authorised vaccines, and others accepted by its own national regulator as being similar in composition and manufacturing process, such as Covishield.

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3. France excluded from new British rule allowing returning tourists to skip quarantine

UK tourists coming back from amber countries now no longer need to quarantine for 10 days if they are fully vaccinated  – unless they are coming back from France.

The UK government says this decision is due to concerns about levels of the Beta (‘South African’) variant in France.

However France was included in a change of UK foreign office travel advice for amber countries. The UK government no longer advises against travel to them for non-essential reasons such as tourism or visiting second homes. 

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4. France adds more countries to its red list

Tunisia, Mozambique, Cuba and Indonesia have joined France’s red list.

Essentially, ‘red listing’ means especially strict quarantine requirements on entering France.

As for amber countries, however, entry for vaccinated people from red list countries no longer requires a Covid test (see above).

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5. Stricter Covid test rules for unvaccinated people coming from the UK and five other European countries

Those coming from the UK, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Cyprus or Greece, who are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine accepted by France, must now show a Covid test dating from the last 24 hours before departure.

This can be either a PCR or antigen test, with the latter likely to be the most convenient option in view of the short time frame. 

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