France imposes Covid test on all non-EU travellers from December 4

Vaccinated travellers coming from outside the EU need to take a pre-departure test within 48 hours of beginning their journey 

4 December 2021

The French government has said that travellers coming to France from outside the EU will have to take a pre-departure test, but did not add when this rule would come into effect Pic: kitzcorner / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

[Article updated December 9 at 16:45]

All travellers to France, including fully vaccinated people, coming from non-EU countries such as the UK are now required to show a negative Covid test. 

This can be taken in the 48 hours before departure if you are vaccinated, but must be in the 24 hours before if you are unvaccinated.

The decision was announced by the French government on December 1 and comes into effect today (December 4). 

Read more: Negative Covid test for vaccinated non-EU arrivals to France

The official rules state that: “Anyone aged 12 or over wishing to enter national territory from a country [outside the EU] must come with the result of a test carried out less than 48 hours before their departure." The government website adds that for unvaccinated people the time frame is 24 hours. 

“The only antigen tests which can be taken are those which allow for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein." 

This will include rapid antigen (lateral flow) tests that are offered in the UK, as well as PCR tests, travel companies have now confirmed. 

Read more: Lateral flow pre-departure tests to be accepted for UK-France travel

The new travel rules apply to all travellers, vaccinated or not, and including French citizens and/or residents. You can read France's Covid-related travel rules on the Interior Ministry's website here

This comes as the first Omicron case was confirmed in mainland France on Thursday (December 2).

Unvaccinated people coming from amber list countries were already required to take a pre-departure test.

Related stories 

New Omicron variant: PCR and isolation for arrivals to UK from France

Covid France: 47,000 new cases, what is expected in next few weeks?

UK day two Covid test: Are results faster if I use in-person centre?

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

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