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LATEST: France set to reopen borders to American tourists from June 9th

French president Emmanuel Macron has laid out full details of France's reopening plan, including the relaxing of border restrictions for visitors from outside the EU.

LATEST: France set to reopen borders to American tourists from June 9th
Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP

Macron on Thursday set out the detailed timetable for reopening the country, including reopening bars and cafés and lifting the curfew.

And there was one date particularly important to Americans, who have largely been barred from France since March 2020. France had already eased the rules of entry for visitors from the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

The second stage of the reopening on Wednesday, June 9th includes the reopening of France’s borders to all non-EU visitors for all types of travel – including family visits, tourism and visits from second-home owners.

However, there are two important caveats:

Firstly, phase two only happens if Covid numbers are still under control after phase 1 of the reopening, which begins on May 3rd.

Secondly, all travel will be allowed only with a pass sanitaire, the president detailed.

This is a health passport, the same as France will also be introducing on June 9th to access things like concerts and large events.

The full details of what the pass sanitaire will involve have not yet been published, but a prototype that France is currently testing has options for travellers to either upload a vaccine certificate or a recent negative Covid test.

In March the French government announced it was lifting the requirement that meant only those people with “essential reasons” to travel to the UK were permitted to make the trip. Restrictions were also eased for travel to or from six other countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Anyone travelling in to France currently needs to present a negative PCR Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours and fill in a declaration stating that they have no Covid symptoms.

There is no compulsory quarantine for arrivals in France from the US, UK, Australia or New Zealand, but people coming from a non-EU country are asked to self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. This can be done at an address of their choice.

Travellers from India and Brazil however face 10-day compulsory quarantine on arrival in France and could be subject to steep fines if they flout the rules.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about travel rules between France and UK

Member comments

  1. Ironic that France is welcoming vaccinated Australians after the EU went to so much trouble to stop them getting the vaccines they’d paid for.

  2. I know there is a lot to learn about all this in the days and weeks ahead. I’m an American with a second home in Provence. My husband and I are both 1 month+ past our second vaccine dose. It wasn’t clear from the article… if we were to come to France after June 9, would we still have to quarantine for seven days?

    1. Kathy, you won’t need to quarantine if you’ve been vaccinated. We also have a second home in the Luberon and are excited to return in July.

  3. This is Roger.

    We have a second home in the Dordogne which haven’t been able to visit since January 2020.

    Unfortunately, we live in South Africa.

    If my wife and I manage to obtain a full vaccination (J&J) in the next few weeks, will we be able to visit our home. Self isolation is not a problem…… I’m sure there are plenty of maintenance jobs waiting for me.

  4. This is Roger.

    We have a second home in the Dordogne which haven’t been able to visit since January 2020.

    Unfortunately, we live in South Africa.

    If my wife and I manage to obtain a full vaccination (J&J) in the next few weeks, will we be able to visit our home?
    Self-isolation is not a problem…… I’m sure there are plenty of maintenance jobs waiting for me.

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TRAVEL NEWS

What to expect if you’re travelling to France in December

From Covid rules to strikes, snow to festivals here's what you can expect if you are travelling to France in December or January.

What to expect if you're travelling to France in December

Covid rules

Travel over the previous two Christmases was heavily restricted because of Covid, but this year things are very different.

There are currently no travel restrictions in place, no requirement to show proof of a Covid vaccination to enter France and the vaccine pass is no longer in use.

Regarding masks, these are only compulsory in certain healthcare settings and are no longer required in other public places. However, the country is experiencing a surge in cases and the Prime Minister has called on people to wear masks on public transport, especially at peak times.

Paxlovid, tests and isolation: essential Covid information for tourists in France

Strikes

If you’re planning to use public transport you might need to keep an eye on strike announcements as several sectors have threatened strike action over the Christmas and New Year period.

On the railways, conductors and ticket collectors have filed a provisional strike notice that covers the weekends of December 23rd-26th and December 30th to January 2nd, while cabin crew at both Easyjet and Air France have also filed provisional strike notices for the Christmas period. Whether these strikes go ahead depends on the result of ongoing pay negotiations.

Meanwhile if you are intending to travel by Eurostar, security staff in the UK have called a strike on December 16th, 18th, 22nd and 23rd. Eurostar says it will notify passengers nearer the time if any services are cancelled or delayed on those days.

READ ALSO Should you travel to France if there is a strike on?

You can keep up to date with the latest at our strike section HERE

Weather

The long-term forecast for France, and indeed the rest of Europe, is a winter of above-average temperatures. However forecasters say there will be a “cold blast” and that will be concentrated in December, so expect chilly temperatures and flurries of snow, especially on higher ground.

If you’re planning to ski then snow will be exactly what you want – many of France’s Alps ski resorts saw delayed opening dates because of a lack of snow but as of the start of December the higher resorts – like Tignes, Val d’Isère and Courchevel – were open.

Power cuts 

Countries across Europe are grappling with power issues this winter due to the shortage of Russian gas, and France is no exception.

Local authorities have been asked to put in place emergency plans in case scheduled power cuts are required – here are the details – although the government insists this eventuality is unlikely.

Trains, hospitals and schools: How will handle possible blackouts this winter

There is a website and app called Ecowatt which gives the latest information on whether power cuts are likely, and which areas will be affected. Here’s how it works

Holidays

France has only two public holidays over the festive period – December 25th and January 1st. This year, both of these fall on a Sunday, meaning no extra day off for workers. Most shops will be closed on those days although on December 25th many boulangeries and patisseries will open in the morning only, along with some florists.

Other than that, you can expect most shops, restaurants and cafés to be open as normal over the holiday period, although offices are often closed for longer. French schools are closed between December 17th and January 3rd.

Traffic 

You can expect traffic to be heavy on certain days as French people travel to spend time with their families. The traffic forecasting site Bison futé predicts that traffic will be heavy on Thursday, December 22nd and very heavy on Friday, December 23rd, especially in the greater Paris Île-de-France region. 

The roads are also expected to be busy on Sunday, January 1st and Monday January 2nd. 

Festivals and events

You can also expect lots of fun festivals and events at this time of year, especially Christmas markets and light festivals.

Here’s our pick of some of the best Christmas markets and festive events

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