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France to open non-EU borders from July 1

France is to gradually reopen to countries beyond Europe from July 1, it has announced. It comes as borders within the European area prepare to open from tomorrow (Monday June 15). 

However, there will be a request for (voluntary) quarantine for people coming from the UK and also conditions related to people coming from Spain as these two countries are maintaining conditions for people entering from France.

France confirmed the plans after following recommendations from the European Commission, in a joint press release from the minister of the interior Christophe Castaner and minister for foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The release said: “[From Monday] people coming from the European area [EU states as well as Andorra, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican] will be able to enter France without restrictions linked to the fight against Covid-19, as they could before March 18, 2020.”

After this date, France will “move forward to a gradual reopening of borders outside Schengen from July 1. This opening will happen in a gradual way depending on the health situation of the different third party countries, and in alignment with the arrangements that will have been agreed at European level by then”.

International students will be given first priority, it said.

Restrictions remain for Spain and UK

Some restrictions on travel will continue to apply for arrivals to France from European area countries that are continuing to impose their own restrictions on arrivals from France.

This includes the UK and Spain.

As a result, France will impose reciprocal requirements on arrivals from these countries, including a voluntary two-week quarantine for arrivals from the UK.

The two ministers said: “Spain has chosen to maintain its movement restrictions linked to Covid-19 until June 21, including the requirement of a two-week quarantine for air passengers arriving from European countries.

“From June 15, travellers coming from the UK will no longer be subject to restrictions of entry [into France] but will still, until further notice, be invited to observe a [voluntary] two-week quarantine upon arrival.”

Read more: France opens to visitors from Europe from Monday
Read more: UK-France travel June 15: Your options by air, train, ferry

Rules for the UK

The UK, which is not part of the Schengen Area but is still treated as being within the European area during the transition period this year, imposed a mandatory two-week quarantine on all arrivals starting from June 8.

Arrivals are required to give an address for the quarantine, and if they cannot, accommodation will be provided. Spot checks may be carried out and there will be fines of £1,000 (€1,114) for non-compliance, the UK government has said.

This rule is set to be reevaluated every three weeks.

UK quarantine: Read more


Other European countries

Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Serbia, and Sweden have already opened their borders to arrivals from France.

Germany is set to be open from midnight tonight (Sunday June 14). Belgium and Greece will reopen from Monday morning, followed by Austria at midnight on Monday.

Portugal is set to open to foreign tourists from July 1.

Some countries will still continue to operate restrictions on arrivals from countries considered to have too-high levels of Covid-19 infection. These many include Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia.

Each country is free to decide its own requirements for arrivals, including requiring a quarantine or a Covid-19 test.

Some European countries will continue to have further restrictions after June 15.

Romania will only allow its own citizens to enter. Norway - which is not a member of the EU but is a part of the Schengen Area - will only allow arrivals from its neighbouring Nordic countries, except Sweden.

Denmark is so far allowing only arrivals from Germany, Norway or Iceland.

From June 15, Finland will only allow travel to and from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

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