France is to classify countries into three traffic light colour-coded categories for foreign travel, it has been confirmed, with the colour determined by the Covid epidemic situation in each destination.
Junior tourism secretary Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne yesterday (May 8) told Europe 1: “There will be green countries, orange countries, and red countries.”
The new system is expected to come into force “by the end of the month”.
He said: “For countries outside of Europe, there are some countries, where we can see that the variants are still very active, so we will have to work on the list and the colours. We are working on these lists with the government and also with our European colleagues.”
Currently, the EU has a list of seven third-party countries from which it recommends allowing travellers to enter, even if they have not been vaccinated against Covid.
These are: Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.
For travel within the EU including travel from France, the European Commission is planning to introduce a health certificate, which is set to be rolled out before the end of June.
Traffic light system similar to that used in England
It comes after England implemented a similar traffic-light colour system for foreign travel from England.
Depending on the colour of the country – green, amber or red – people travelling from England to the destination and then returning to England are either not required to self-isolate, to self-isolate at home for 10 days, or to quarantine completely in a government-mandated hotel.
Currently, the ‘green list’ of countries not requiring self-isolation on return comprises just Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, plus several small remote islands that are British Overseas Territories.
Entry to some of those countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, is still restricted.
And a traffic light travel list does not supersede other countries’ entry requirements. For example, Portugal will only allow British nationals with a negative test, Covid antibodies, or both vaccinations to enter.
France is on England’s ‘amber list’, for which a 10-day quarantine is required, and travel to France (and all amber countries) from England is still not recommended.
For those entering France, the country already has its own list of countries from which arrivals must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, due to the worsening Covid situation there.
These are Brazil, India, Chile, South Africa, Argentina, Turkey, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
This list does not mean that people in France can travel to these countries; they are only the rules for people entering France.