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Do I need a Covid test to travel to France?

Some people travelling to France’s overseas territories have reportedly been faking negative Covid-19 tests in order to fly

Reader question: I am from the UK but I am planning to spend Christmas with my parents who live in the Dordogne. Will I need to present a negative coronavirus test at the airport?

Short answer: No, people travelling from the UK to France do not need to present a negative coronavirus test. This is confirmed by the French consulate in London on its website.

However, it is necessary to present recent negative Covid-19 tests if entering France from some countries. 

If you are travelling to France from Bahrain, Panama, United Arab Emirates or the US, you will have to present a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, prior to boarding. You will not be able to board without the document. 

If you are travelling from other non-EU countries then you will have to either present a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, or submit to such a test at the airport upon arrival in France. The British Embassy understands the UK to be being included with the EU countries for exemption from this.

This is not the only document that passengers will be required to carry. For more information on what documents you will need to enter France from different locations, you can check this government website

To travel to any of France’s overseas territories, all travellers aged over 11 years will have to produce a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before boarding.

There have been reports of people in France faking negative coronavirus tests to travel to the overseas territories, the newspaper Libération reported in September

At the time, France’s testing capacities were extremely strained, and some people had to wait days to receive test results. 

Since then, France has introduced a system of priority testing in order to speed up test results. 

Marseille Airport has also become the first in France to offer new rapid antigen coronavirus tests which give results in around a quarter of an hour.

The Paris airports and Nice airport are preparing to offer the same service. 

In England, travellers flying internationally are reportedly faking negative Covid tests too. The Lancashire Telegraph stated that passengers travelling to Pakistan were doctoring Covid-19 test certificates in order to be able to fly.

Read more:

Major French airports to launch fast new coronavirus test

Coronavirus tests in France: 24 common questions

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