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What are the latest Covid rules for teenagers travelling to France?

We look at whether a 13-year-old having had one vaccine dose needs to do a pre-departure test

Reader Question: Having checked the Covid rules for entry to France again today, I’m still not certain about youngsters. My 13-year-old granddaughter is travelling to France with her parents – both vaccinated and boosted – and 11 year old brother, who due to his age has no constraints. The 13-year-old has had one vaccination but that’s all which has been offered to her.

My question is: does that one equate to her being vaccinated or unvaccinated? 

The UK is on France’s green list for travel so fully vaccinated travellers are not subject to any restrictions. 

Therefore, your granddaughter’s parents can enter the country without taking any additional measures as long as they can prove that they are vaccinated. 

In addition, your grandson is, as you say, exempted from the vaccination requirements applied to adults and therefore does not need to be vaccinated. 

However, the French government states that: “children under 12 are exempt from these formalities,” meaning that those aged 12 and above are viewed in the same way as adults. 

People over 12 years of age are only viewed as fully vaccinated “28 days after receiving one dose of the Janssen vaccine, [and] seven days after a second dose of other vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency,” which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Although your granddaughter has not been offered a second vaccination dose in the UK, she will therefore be classed as not fully vaccinated. 

This means that she will have to present the negative result of a test taken in the 48 hours before departing for France in the case of an antigen test, or 72 hours before in the case of a PCR.

Alternatively, if she has had Covid more than 11 days and less than six months ago, she could also present her certificate of recovery. If she did a PCR test when she had Covid, her result will have been stored along with her vaccination record and available to view as a QR code in the NHS app.

If your granddaughter needs to take a pre-departure test, it should be noted that self-administered lateral flow tests supplied by the NHS are not accepted for travel. Tests must be certified by an approved private provider. 

At-home antigen tests from a firm such as Randox or Lloyds Pharmacy begin at around £15, while PCR tests start at approximately £35.

Further information on travel rules can be found on the French consulate website.

Related articles 

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

What are the EU rules on passport validity periods?

France to review prolonging Covid pass for international travel

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