France has reopened its borders to all travellers from within the EU, the UK and the Schengen zone. Does that mean an end to the 14 day mandatory self-isolation too?
There is no quarantine requirement in place for people who travel from an EU country to France. Spain and France briefly operated with a quarantine on travellers but this was dropped in June.
On Friday, July 10th, England (not the whole of the UK) will scrap its 14 day quarantine for travellers entering the country from France. Paris is expected to follow the reciprocal agreement by ending its voluntary quarantine guidance for travellers coming over from the UK.
British authorities have told The Local they are expecting an announcement this week.
“You’ll be aware that France currently invites travellers from the UK to self-isolate on entry into France as a reciprocal measure. We will include any reciprocal changes to French requirements in a further update to our official travel advice,” said the British embassy in Paris.
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On the British side, the new rules will only apply for travel into England and now Scotland. The Scottish government published its own list of “safe countries” on Wednesday from which travellers will not need to quarantine and France was included.
“We will also lift quarantine for the countries on the amber list that have a prevalence below or not significantly higher than Scotland. That list includes France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, and Poland,” said Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
So it's not yet clear what that will mean for travel to France from Wales or Northern Ireland, although the French embassy in the UK has previously warned: “For travellers coming from European countries whose authorities have decided, in an uncoordinated way, to apply a quarantine measure to travellers entering their territory from European countries, a voluntary quarantine will be asked for, by reciprocity”.
In reality however, the move to drop the quarantine will only change things significantly on the British side.
While France said it would reciprocate other countries' quarantines, the French quarantine for people travelling in from the UK has always been voluntary.
Until July 10th travellers arriving in France from the UK – whatever their nationality or method of transport – had been “invited” by the French government to self-isolate for 14 days.
France has not been operating spot checks or handing out £1,000 fines.
Travellers from the UK do not need travel forms, but you are invited to take a 14-day voluntary quarantine on your arrival in France. Info:https://t.co/qpZhrZXY9w
— French Embassy UK (@FranceintheUK) June 30, 2020
The EU has reopened its external borders, albeit with some exemptions, including the United States.
From May 25th, France introduced a 14-day voluntary quarantine for arrivals from outside the EU and Schengen zone areas.
The quarantine affects all arrivals apart from those from EU countries, Andorra, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Saint-Marin, Switzerland and Vatican City. French citizens and residents travelling from outside those areas will also be subject to the voluntary quarantine.
They will be asked to quarantine themselves at home or, if they do not have a suitable address, at a specially adapted accommodation such as a hotel.
If you develop symptoms while travelling..
If you develop symptoms during your journey you should alert the crew so that they can help you with the next steps.
Travellers get their temperature automatically checked upon arrival at some airports in France. Paris' airports operate with general temperature screenings of all arrivals and anyone showing as having an abnormally high body temperature will proceed to a contact-less individual temperature check.
Anyone with a temperature above 38C will be asked to do a coronavirus test on the spot. Passengers who turn out to be coronavirus positive will be placed in a mandatory 14 day quarantine, either in a hotel or in a place of their own choosing.
When you are in France you should follow the government's general health advice.
Anyone with a cough, a fever or other coronavirus symptoms can call the French covid-19 hotline (+33 800 130 000) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
France has extensively ramped up its testing capacities and it is easy to get a quick coronavirus PCR (q-tip) test, either with a doctor's prescription or in a pop-up testing tent. Ask the general coronavirus helpline operators where you can get tested in your area.
This service does not give medical advice so if you're feeling unwell and need medical help, dial the French emergency number, 15 (+33 15).