How young people in France can get grants to go on summer holidays

Travel across France will officially be allowed from May 3rd, presenting the opportunity to recharge after a year of lockdowns and confinement measures. Here's how 18-25-year-olds can get financial support to take a vacation.

How young people in France can get grants to go on summer holidays
Fancy a week surfing in Biarritz, on the west coast of France? Photo: IROZ GAIZKA / AFP

However, due to work, health, studies or financial constraints, not all French residents can take a summer holiday, which – especially this year – can take a particular toll on young people. France’s National Agency for Holiday Vouchers (ANCV) is changing that.

Départ 18:25 (Departure 18:25) was launched by ANCV in 2014 to help those from 18-25 years old take summer vacation, providing vouchers that cover up to 75 percent of reservation costs (capped at €200).

Beneficiaries can choose between 10,000 destinations spread across France and internationally, with reservations made through the Les Stations sites offering sun, mountains and city-themed trips. The site allows visitors to test their eligibility and simulate the total cost of trips taking the ANVC voucher into account.  

According to Ouest-France, at least 3,800 participants took vacation across France and abroad last year through the Départ 18:25 scheme.

Dominique Ktorza, Director of Social Policies at ANCV, said that they will be working with the National Center of Universities and Schools to spread the word, and plan to reach two million scholarship students through email about the program.  

The scheme is open to French residents aged 18-25 making a net salary of less than €17,280 per year, as declared on tax forms.

However, it’s also open to students working on apprenticeships, civic service volunteers, those benefiting from special aid contracts (often given to handicapped people, for example), “second-chance” schools that offer another shot to those that had difficulties in school, beneficiaries of the Youth Guarantee initiative and those receiving social aid within their families. 

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Will France’s Covid-19 health pass be consigned to the past?

France suspended but did not cancel the Covid pass in March - but the government has suggested it might not return, even with the country in the grip of the virus’s seventh wave

Will France's Covid-19 health pass be consigned to the past?

Cases of Covid-19 in France have risen 57.8 percent in the past week with daily cases topping the 200,000 mark on Tueday.

The virus’s seventh wave has the country in its grip – but it seems the government has no plans to reintroduce vaccine pass measures.

READ ALSO How serious will France’s seventh wave of Covid-19 be?

The vaccine pass –  itself a two-month development of the old health pass which had been required for entry to certain venues such as bars, restaurants and cafes – was suspended on March 14th, as cases of Covid-19 in France fell. But the health emergency law that enforced it was still in effect and allowed it to be reactivated at any time.

That law runs out on July 31st. Now, it seems the pass will not return. Reports in the French press last month claimed that the health ministry was discussing the possibility of re-imposing some form of pass sanitaire, a bill intended to replace the current health emergency laws makes no mention of it. 

The new president of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, confirmed this week that the vaccine pass was not included in the new bill, entitled “health monitoring and security”, which will be submitted to the National Assembly for debate from July 11 and will, if passed, come into law on August 1st – the day after the current law expires.

“[It] is not what is planned in the text of the law that will be submitted to parliament this week,” Braun-Pivet said.

Rather, the bill extends epidemic surveillance and contact case identification systems until March 31st, 2023. 

The second provides for the implementation of border control measures – such as requiring visitors to France to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test – if a so-called variant of concern were to spread rapidly abroad, as confirmed by new government spokesman Olivier Véran. 

Currently, most health rules in place at the height of the pandemic have been relaxed. Masks are only required in French hospitals, health centres and places that have vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. They are also recommended in crowded spaces where it is impossible to practice social distancing.

READ ALSO French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport