Arrived in France from outside EU? Please isolate

French nationals and other residents of France travelling back into the country from countries outside the European Union will be invited to isolate for 14 days on a voluntary basis from tomorrow Wednesday May 20.

This period of quarantine is not obligatory but is strongly recommended.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian said: “The EU’s borders are closed and will remain closed, except for returning French citizens and residents. They will have to undergo a period of isolation of 14 days, on a voluntary basis."

"This will be an autonomous initiative, on the basis of personal responsibility", and this two week quarantine can take place at the person’s home or another place chosen by them.

The Conseil Constitutionnel, the national council which ensures that all laws respect the principles of the Constitution, did not approve a previous rule forcing people to go into quarantine for 14 days and it has been erased from the May 11 decree extending the state of emergency. The quarantine period is now just a recommendation. No date for when this recommendation will be lifted has been given.

A government helpline spokesperson said: “The rule is not obligatory anymore but there will be temperature checks at the airport on your arrival in France. People must remain vigilant and act responsibly.”

Returning to France from outside the EU is only possible under specific reasons which are related to work or to return to a main home.

Only the following people are allowed to travel to France:

- Those who have their main residence in France or in the European Union or an assimilated country thereof, holders of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, and their spouses and children;

- Persons in transit to their country of origin, who should present the travel document for their country of origin and remain in the international zone without entering the national territory;

- Healthcare professionals for the purposes of combating Covid-19;

- Transporters of goods, including sailors;

- Crews and personnel operating passenger and cargo flights, or travelling as passengers to reach their departure base;

- Personnel of diplomatic and consular missions, as well as international organisations headquartered or having an office in France, holding a special residence permit or a visa D “carte Promae”;

- Cross-border workers at internal land borders.

Anyone coming to France must complete a form, available here, in French or in English, and tick the right box for their case. The document must be presented to transport companies before boarding, as well as border control authorities.

Travelling for the reasons above is still possible and flights can be booked on the companies’ websites. You can find more information on the government website here. Embassies remain available for anyone who needs help to be repatriated and it is advised to contact them if you are planning to return to France.

186,000 French citizens have been repatriated since the start of the health crisis, the minister said.

If you are found to be sick, you will need to stay in quarantine for 14 days. If you cannot isolate yourself at home or by your own means, you can be placed in a hotel which has been requisitioned by the government. You will be asked questions on your arrival at the airport, and thus can directly be isolated in a hotel if you wish, the government helpline spokesperson said.

Related articles:

U-turn: 14-day UK quarantine for arrivals from France

No quarantine for arrivals to France from EU and UK

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