Travel: EU and non-EU arrivals to France now need PCR tests

Recent negative PCR tests for all arrivals into France will be needed from midnight tonight, with isolation for non-EU arrivals. We explain

24 January 2021
A plane in the sky. Travel: EU and non-EU arrivals to France now need PCR testsA negative PCR test is now required for all arrivals into France, from within and outside the EU
By Hannah Thompson

People arriving in France from within the EU and from outside the EU will be required to present a negative PCR test from within the past 72 hours, and those arriving from outside the EU will also be required to self-isolate.

The new rules will apply from midnight tonight. They were confirmed by President Emmanuel Macron this week, before the European Council.

The rules come as the health situation continues to worsen, and fears grow worldwide over the spread of the new UK and South African variants.

We explain.

People arriving in France from within the EU

  • Must present a negative PCR test from within the past 72 hours
  • All passengers aged 11 and over travelling to Corsica must also sign a “declaration of honour” saying that they have no Covid symptoms

This applies to arrivals from all EU member states, plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican. It applies to all nationalities, including French nationals and residents in France arriving back in the country from within the EU.

People arriving in France from outside the EU

  • Both bullet points listed above
  • Plus a seven-day self-isolation period upon arrival, followed by a second PCR test after 2-7 days

This applies to all nationalities, including French nationals and residents in France arriving back in the country from outside the EU.

For people coming from one of the few countries in which taking a PCR is considered difficult or impossible, France is to impose a testing system upon arrival, with an obligatory seven-day isolation period in a location approved by the authorities.

 

People arriving to the DOM-TOM

  • Martinique: Travellers must present a negative PCR test from within the past 72 hours, and self-isolate for seven days upon arrival, with a second PCR test after seven days. No exceptions except for passengers arriving from Guadeloupe.
  • Guadalupe: Same as above. No exceptions except for passengers arriving from Martinique.
  • French Guyana: Same as above. Passengers travelling between Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy; or Guadeloupe and French Guyana, must show an “imperative” reason for travel
  • Mayotte: No international ship or air travel allowed until January 31, after a case of the South African variant was detected.
  • La Réunion: People who have travelled to Mayotte, Comores or Mozambique within the past 14 days must take a PCR test as soon as possible. All journeys between islands must have an “imperative reason”.

Travel 'not advised'

There will be some exceptions to the rules, including people who work between borders, and goods transport workers.

While travel within the EU is still possible - with restrictions depending on the country - president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said that “all non-essential journeys” are “strongly not advised”.

France itself has “totally and strictly” advised against all non-essential foreign travel, both within and outside of the EU.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is to add a new colour to its map - dark red - which will show an even higher level of virus incidence within the EU. Travellers from within these countries may be asked to show a negative PCR test before they depart, and to self-isolate when they arrive.

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