Can I travel from France to US for Christmas?

The US State Department put France on an amber travel alert in August

20 October 2020
A reader asks if it is possible to travel from France to the US for Christmas
By Brian McCulloch

I am an American in France. Will I be able to go home for Christmas, and get back?

Travelling from France to the US should not be a problem. There are no restrictions on people leaving France, but airlines require that you have a negative Covid 19 test result a maximum of 72 hours before the flight.

US citizens are allowed back into the United States, but the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 25 August, is that people from France are in a “high risk” category, and should for 14 days after travel:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness from Covid 19
  • Consider getting tested for Covid 19.

You must also follow any state, territorial or tribal rules imposed because of the pandemic.

Read more: Paris airports to introduce antigenic Covid-19 tests

If you are legally resident in France, you can travel to France from the United States, under the French government’s essential travel exceptions to the Covid 19 travel ban.

You will have to fill out and sign an attestation, ticking the box corresponding to being a citizen of a country outside the EU having a titre de sejour or a long-term visa to stay in France and having your main residence in France.

You will also have to have proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours before the flight, a self-signed declaration you do not have Covid 19 symptoms, and expect to have your temperature checked when you arrive in France.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms after travel you will have to go into a seven-day quarantine at your home or a location of your choice and you will also have to quarantine if you arrive in France without taking a Covid-19 test in the 72 hours before the flight (this is unlikely to be necessary or possible, as airlines will not let you on the plane without having taken a test).

The US State Department, however, advises against travel to France.

On 6 August, it put France on amber alert, or “Level 3: reconsider travel” because of Covid 19, terrorism and civil unrest, and the country remains on this level.

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