Can I holiday in France? Rules and what's open to tourists

It is now possible to holiday in France – at least it is if you are coming from another European country.

17 June 2020
Can I holiday in France?France is hoping to bolster its economy by promoting tourism to the country again.
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France lifted its border restrictions for European countries on June 15.

President Macron has also said that from July 1, border restrictions for countries outside of the European Union will slowly be lifted especially for countries which have the epidemic “under control”. However, there is no more information available at the moment for non-European national tourists.

Visitors from the UK can visit but are invited to self-isolate for 14 days (or less, depending on the length of stay), as a reciprocity measure with the UK which has made quarantine obligatory for any arrival from France and anywhere else until at least June 28. 

Current FCO travel advice for Brits travelling to France

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises avoiding travelling to France unless it is essential. This advice is being kept under constant review but this means that British travel insurance policies currently risk being invalidated due to the government advice. 

Read more: Insurance risks being invalid if you visit France from UK

Visitors from Spain, travelling by air, are also invited to quarantine for 14 days as a reciprocity measure with Spain until June 21.

This quarantine remains voluntary and the French government asks individuals to act responsibly. You are free to go out if you so decide and there are no checks.

Quarantine in France will only be obligatory if you show symptoms of Covid-19 at your arrival in the country. There could be health checks at your arrival, this is notably the case at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Read more: Do I have to quarantine if I go to France?

Are hotels, campsites and restaurants now open in France?

Hotels, gîtes, and campsites are now open to the public, as well as cafes, bars and restaurants. 

Restaurants are limited to tables of ten people maximum. When going to a restaurant, a mask is required when walking inside but can be removed when seated. Staff must also wear a mask.

Beaches, lakes, rivers may also be visited. The restriction to make beaches only accessible for physical activity (swimming, running, walking, etc) was lifted two weeks ago.

You can now stay on the beach and sunbathe or have a picnic. However, gatherings of more than ten people are not allowed in any public space in general including beaches. 

Read more: Masks: What are the rules for beaches and campsites in France?

Swimming pools opened in most of France on June 2 and will open in the Ile-de-France region from June 22.

What about French tourist attractions like Disneyland Paris?

Most museums, monuments, zoos and theme parks are open but a mask is required to visit. Some are still closed but are slowly reopening. The Eiffel Tower will open to visitors on June 25. The Mucem in Marseille is set to open on June 29. Disneyland Paris is currently closed until further notice. However, the Puy du Fou and Futuroscope theme parks are open. 

Cinemas will open everywhere in France on June 22. Night clubs remain closed until further notice.

If you plan to travel by train, reservations are mandatory even for regional trains (TER) and wearing a mask is obligatory in public transport; this includes buses, trains, trams and the métro.

The government recommends people continue to respect virus-protection measures: wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze in your elbow, use a single-use tissue, avoid touching your face, avoid kissing and shaking hands, and keep a one-metre distance between yourself and others.

If the one-metre distance between you and others cannot be respected, it is recommended to wear a mask.

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