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IN DETAIL: What are the rules on travel into France from within the EU

While there are still restrictions on travel into France from many non-EU countries, including the UK, travel from within the European Bloc is more relaxed - but there are still rules in place.

IN DETAIL: What are the rules on travel into France from within the EU
Photo: AFP

Here’s what the latest border rules say;

The EU rules refer to the entire Schengen zone, so all the EU countries plus Switzerland, Andorra, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Vatican City.

Non-essential travel to France (tourism, holidays etc) from within the EU is officially still “strongly discouraged” by the French government but it is allowed.

Arrivals from within the EU do not need to self-isolate but there are however rules that need to be followed.

Anyone entering France from within the Schengen zone needs to present a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours. The government specifies that this must be a PCR test, not the rapid-result antigen tests found in pharmacies.

As well as the test result, at the border you will also need to present a sworn statement declaring that you do not have any Covid symptoms and have not to your knowledge been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid – you can download the sworn statement HERE.

There are some groups of people who are exempt from the testing requirement. They are;

  • Children under 11
  • Cross-border workers
  • Hauliers
  • People who live near the French border and are travelling for less than 24 hours, within a 30km radius from their home 

People in the exempt groups still need the sworn statement and will also need some proof of their exemption eg proof of address, professional ID for cross-border workers.

Hauliers who are travelling from Ireland are not exempt from the testing requirement.

Arrivals from within the EU do not need to prove that their trip is essential and can travel for any reason including tourism. 

France has launched a campaign urging its citizens to holiday in France – as much to boost the country’s battered tourism industry as for health reasons – but there is no official advice against travelling within Europe.

At present, the testing requirement is the same even for fully vaccinated people but the EU vaccine passport is scheduled to come into effect from July 1st.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated will then be able to show a digital vaccination certificate at the border via their home country’s health passport app instead of presenting test results.

Once in France some restrictions remain in place including a curfew and wearing a mask – so that it covers your mouth and nose – is compulsory in all outdoor public spaces at risk of a €135 fine.

Several countries within the EU also have France on their ‘risk’ lists, so check your home country’s rules for returning from France as you may need to quarantine.

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HEALTH

France declares epidemic as flu cases soar

The French health authority has declared a flu epidemic, while the country also faces a new wave of Covid cases and bronchitis is affecting young children.

France declares epidemic as flu cases soar

Santé publique France made the declaration of an epidemic on Wednesday, adding that three deaths have been recorded due to flu, while 20 patients are in intensive care.

With Covid-19 and bronchitis cases also currently high, health experts have urged people to get vaccinated – especially those over 65. “It is important for people at risk to be vaccinated against flu without delay,” insisted Santé publique France.

READ ALSO Flu vaccine opens to all adults in France: What you need to know

Cases have hit full epidemic levels in Brittany and Normandy, while the virus is in pre-epidemic phase in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Centre-Val de Loire, Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France, with an increasing number of people heading to hospitals’ emergency departments with influenza-like illness. It is expected to cross over to epidemic levels in the coming days and weeks.

READ ALSO French PM calls on commuters to wear masks as Covid cases rise

It has already hit French overseas territories including Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion.

Flu has hit epidemic levels much earlier than last season, when it did not peak until early Spring. 

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