France travel restrictions eased for US and Canada tourists

Unvaccinated American and Canadian tourists can now visit France without an ‘essential reason’ after France places both countries on its travel green list. The change has not (yet) been reciprocated

18 June 2021
A person with a suitcase holding a US passport

France is the second top European destination for American travellers after Italy. Pic: Jsnow my wolrd / Shutterstock

France has placed the US and Canada on its green travel list, meaning that everyone - including those not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 - can enter France without an essential reason.

France’s tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne tweeted news of the announcement, saying, “American friends, welcome and enjoy your stay in France.”

[The original body tweet states that only vaccinated Americans can enter France. This dates from June 15, before the change on June 17]

The change comes just in time for the summer tourist season, with France traditionally greatly benefiting from US tourists. 

In 2019, 4.7 million Americans travelled to France, making it the top long-haul tourist market, tourist development agency Atout France states. 

This number increased each year between 2016 - 2019, leading to a total increase of 11%. 

France is the second top European destination for American travellers after Italy. 

This change has not been reciprocated by the US or Canada and as it stands, tourists from France cannot travel to either country. 

The rules for people in the US and Canada travelling to France are now:

Fully vaccinated people: You can travel freely to France without the need for a Covid-19 test. You do not need any Covid-19 test or to quarantine on arrival. You must be able to present proof of your vaccination status and a sworn statement that 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. You do not need to quarantine on arrival. You must present a sworn statement that you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

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

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 [so tourists should be able to use this instead of a Covid-19 test]”

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

Read more:

‘Epidemic receding rapidly’: France’s positive Covid news in numbers

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