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France updates travel list: Australia drops to amber as Covid spreads

It comes as 12 countries – including most southern African countries which had sat in the scarlet list – are moved up from red to amber

Australia and Argentina have moved to France’s amber list for travel from green Pic: zuzana caprnkova / Shutterstock

France has downgraded both Australia and Argentina from green to amber on its Covid travel lists.

Amber-list countries are those in which “active circulation of the virus is observed in controlled proportions, without spread of any variants of concern.”

Australia had been on the green list for months, but a recent surge in Covid infections in the country has pushed it up to the amber-level restrictions currently imposed on most countries in the world.

People travelling to France from amber-list countries are not subject to any restrictions on arrival if they are fully vaccinated, although they must take a pre-departure PCR or antigen test in the 48 hours before their journey begins. Children under 12 are exempt from testing requirements.

Unvaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days on arrival in France.

France’s latest travel traffic light list update also saw 12 countries moved from red to orange, including most of the southern African countries that had been placed on the scarlet list when Omicron emerged late last year and then downgraded to red earlier this month. 

These are: South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana and Malawi. Russia, Ukraine and Moldova have also moved to amber. There are now no countries left on the scarlet list.

Some 12 countries still remain on the red list: Afghanistan, Belarus, the US, Georgia, Nigeria, Mauritius, Montenegro, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Suriname, Tanzania and Turkey.

Fully vaccinated people entering France from red-list countries are not subject to any restrictions, but must take a pre-departure test. Unvaccinated travellers must have an essential reason for travel and quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

All EU and EEA countries are on France’s green travel list, along with 14 other countries and territories: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, South Korea, UAE, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Taiwan, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

Further details on France’s travel rules can be found on the interior ministry website.

What does fully vaccinated mean? 

Travellers count as being fully vaccinated for entry into the country seven days after receiving their second dose of a European Medicines Agency-approved vaccine, or 28 days after their only injection of the single-dose Janssen jab. 

Read more: Does ‘fully vaccinated’ include booster jabs under French rules?

The other EMA-approved vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Read more: Novavax becomes fifth Covid vaccine to be approved in France

What is the scarlet list?

Countries will be moved to the scarlet list if there is a very active circulation of Covid or if the presence of certain variants which pose a risk of much greater transmissibility or immune escape is detected.

In the scarlet zone countries, applicable rules do not depend on the traveller’s vaccination status.

All passengers must present an essential reason for travel to and from France and the negative result of a PCR test taken in the 48 hours before departure or an antigen test taken in the 24 hours before (unless under 12 years of age).

All passengers must also self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in France from a scarlet country.

Related articles

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

France-UK travel: Day two tests for vaccinated to end February 11

WHO recommends lifting of international Covid travel bans

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