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HEALTH

Travel to France: What is the latest on quarantine measures?

There has been a lot of confusion about who will be subject to quarantines in France. Here's the latest on the international travel situation.

Travel to France: What is the latest on quarantine measures?
Photo: AFP

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?

EU

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. 

UK

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.

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. 

 

Outside Europe

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.

READ ALSO: Which countries are on the list of those now permitted to enter France?

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.

Travel to France: The health rules and guidelines tourists should know about

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).

 

Member comments

  1. Is there any indication that France will adopt the procedure of Austria and Iceland whereby persons entering the country will be able to choose between a test for coronavirus or a 14-day quarantine? E.g, “According to the government, no later than June 15, travellers are expected to be given a choice between a 14-days quarantine or being tested for the virus upon arrival, or otherwise proving that they are free of coronavirus infection.” quote from https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/iceland-to-offer-covid-19-tests-to-airport-passengers/

  2. I have a question. I stay at a friends apartment in Paris. Usually in September for 3 to 4 weeks, I am a tourist and retired.I could self isolate in their apartment, it is in the 8th. It is in a prime location off the Place Charles De Gaulle. If I do this can I get food delivered? Can I stay inside for 2 weeks? In your beautiful city yes I can, I have done it here in America.

  3. Gordon- Yes it should be easy to have food and groceries delivered if you have internet access, and are familiar with apps.

  4. I just read that international foreign students will be able to complete their studies in France even from US. Is there any consideration for US citizens that own 2nd homes in France to travel, even if quarantine is agreed to at their house?

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

There's been plenty written on travel rules for people coming to France - but what if you live in France and have plans for international travel over the coming months? We've got you covered.

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

France isn’t currently on the Covid red list for any country, so there is nowhere that is barred to you as a French resident, but different countries still have different entry requirements.

EU/Schengen zone

If you’re travelling to a country that is within the EU or Schengen zone then it’s pretty straightforward.

If you’re fully vaccinated then all you need is proof of vaccination at the border – no need for Covid tests or extra paperwork. Bear in mind, however, that if your second dose was more than nine months ago you will need a booster shot in order to still be considered ‘fully vaccinated’. 

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel to France from within the EU

If you were vaccinated in France then you will have a QR code compatible with all EU/Schengen border systems. If you were vaccinated elsewhere, however, your home country’s vaccination certificate will still be accepted.

If you’re not fully vaccinated you will need to show a negative Covid test at the border, check the individual country for requirements on how recent the test needs to be.

Bear in mind also that several EU countries still have mask/health pass rules in place and some countries specify the type of mask required, for example an FFP2 mask rather than the surgical mask more common in France. Check the rules of the country that you are travelling to in advance.

If you’re travelling to a country covered by The Local, you can find all the latest Covid rules in English on the homepages for Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

UK

The UK has no Covid-related travel rules, so there is no requirement for tests even if you are not vaccinated. The passenger locator form has also been scrapped – full details HERE.

Once there, there are no Covid-related health rules in place. 

If you’re travelling between France and the UK, remember the extra restrictions in place since Brexit.

USA 

Unlike the EU, the USA still has a testing requirement in place, vaccinated or not. You would need to show this prior to departure.

It has, however, lifted the restrictions on non citizens entering, so travel to the USA for tourism and visiting friends/family is once again possible.

For full details on the rules, click HERE.

Once there, most places have lifted Covid-related rules such as mask requirements, but health rules are decided by each State, rather than on a national level, so check in advance with the area you are visiting.

Other non-EU countries

Most non-EU countries have also lifted the majority of their Covid related rules, but in certain countries restrictions remain, such as in New Zealand which is reopening its border in stages and at present only accepts certain groups.

Other countries also have domestic Covid restrictions in place, particularly in China which has recently imposed a strict local lockdown after a spike in cases.

Returning to France

Once your trip is completed you will need to re-enter France and the border rules are the same whether you live here or not.

If you’re fully vaccinated you simply need to show your vaccination certificate (plus obviously passport and residency card/visa if applicable) at the border.

If you’re not vaccinated you will need to get a Covid test before you return and present the negative result at the border – the test must be either a PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours or an antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours. Home-test kits are not accepted.

If you’re returning from an ‘orange list’ country and you’re not vaccinated you will need to provide proof of your ‘essential reasons’ to travel – simply being a resident is classed as an essential reason, so you can show your carte de séjour residency card, visa or EU passport at the border.

Even if the country that you are in is reclassified as red or orange while you are away, you will still be allowed back if you are a French resident. If you’re not a French passport-holder, it’s a good idea to take with you proof of your residency in France, just in case.

Fully vaccinated

France counts as ‘fully vaccinated’ those who:

  • Are vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson)
  • Are 7 days after their final dose, or 28 days in the case of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines
  • Have had a booster shot if more than 9 months has passed since the final dose of your vaccine. If you have had a booster shot there is no need for a second one, even if more than 9 months has passed since your booster
  • Mixed dose vaccines (eg one Pfizer and one Moderna) are accepted 
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