SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

TOURISM

EXPLAINED: How does France’s Covid traffic light system for travel work?

France uses traffic light classification for Covid-19 travel restrictions. Here's how it works depending on whether countries are classed green, orange, red.

EXPLAINED: How does France's Covid traffic light system for travel work?
Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

France uses traffic light travel classifications, which determines the rules for entry into the country for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers.

Country categories change rapidly, but there are currently no countries on the red list, only green and orange list countries.

MAP: Which countries are on France’s green list?

Each colour tier then has different rules for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers. Children under 12 are exempt from testing or vaccine requirements.

Green countries

Travellers coming from green countries can travel for any reason including tourism or to visit second homes and don’t need to quarantine

Green and fully vaccinated – no requirement for a test or a declaration, just proof of vaccination. A vaccine certificate from your home country will be accepted

Green and unvaccinated – a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours if a PCR test or 48 hours if an antigen test, or a certificate of recent Covid recovery (a positive test result with a QR code, taken more than 11 days ago but less than 6 months ago)

Orange countries

Orange and fully vaccinated – proof of vaccination, plus a declaration of being free of Covid symptoms. You can find the declaration HERE.

Orange and not vaccinated – travel allowed for essential reasons only or for certain categories of travellers.

People who qualify must present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours if a PCR or 48 hours if an antigen test. Once in France, there is no requirement to quarantine, but you may be required to take a test on arrival at the port/airport, if an official directs you to

What does fully vaccinated mean?

To qualify as fully vaccinated, travellers must:

  • Have received a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicines Agency – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson (also known as Janssen). The Indian-produced Covishield vaccine is now accepted by France 
  • Be at least seven days after the second injection for double-dose vaccines or after a single dose for those people who had previously had Covid-19
  • Be at least 28 days after the injection for people who had the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • People who have received a vaccine that is recognised by the World Health Organisation but not yet approved for use by the EMA can travel to France if they have had a ‘top up’ single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna 
  • A booster shot is not required to be classed as ‘fully vaccinated’

Paper or digital vaccine certificates are accepted, but they must comply with WHO standards – including the person’s full name, the type of vaccine used and a batch number. The NHS app is now compatible with France’s heath passport.

The EU’s digital health pass is also valid for travel purposes.

For families travelling with children who are not vaccinated, the children can enter under the same conditions as their parents.

For the full list of reasons accepted as essential travel – click HERE.

Member comments

  1. I am assuming that children under 12 from an orange country who cannot yet be vaccinated and are traveling with parents who are fully vaccinated will be subject to testing and quarantine requirements upon arrival? Clarification would be appreciated! Thank you.

  2. I would be interested to know how children (under 16 who cannot be vaccinated in UK so far and under 12s who will not be vaccinated at all) will be catagorised? If travelling with fully vaccinated parents would they be allowed entry with negative test?

  3. What about children from the UK, 16, 13 and 9 year olds, accompanying fully vaccinated parents – I assume they are also allowed in without quarantine.

    Thank you
    Carita

    1. According to the UK govt interpretation of the French announcement in the ‘from 9 June’ section, under 18s are exempt:

      ref: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/entry-requirements

      “Children under the age of 18 years old, who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will be exempt from requirements to self-isolate and provide an essential reason for travel, regardless of whether the minor has been vaccinated or not”

      Obviously that is from the UK and doesn’t have official status in France.

      Also worth noting that UK govt page includes the definition of ‘vaccinated’ to include a single dose of a double dose vaccine if you have been previously tested positive for covid. I knew this was the French domestic vaccination rule but hadn’t seen it stated before in the context of their travel requirements.

  4. My 9 and 13 year old grandchildren will be driving with their fully vaccinated parents – all 4 having a pre-travel PCR test – one report says the children must isolate for 7 days after arrival – and others are not mentioning it . Anyone know the definitive answer yet ? Also tricky to stay overnight in a hotel enroute to the south.

  5. A WARNING IF YOU HAVE YOUR MARRIED NAME ON YOUR PASSPORT! I showed my TousAntiCovid app PCR test result at an Air France check in desk and it was going to be refused as proof because the certificates in the app only show your BIRTH NAME. Luckily I had the paper copy of the test result which also had my married name. My first vaccination attestation has both names, the second only has my birth name as it has been decided that the vaccination passport will also just have birth name. I am travelling this weekend and have a copy of my birth cert, marriage cert, tax payment and utility bill just in case!

  6. We are thinking of flying from bordeaux to malaga next week. We have both had both vaccinations. Does anyone what paperwork we need to have with us. I have my tous covid app on my phone.
    Thanks.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

COVID-19

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).

SHOW COMMENTS