Since June 9th, France has been operating a traffic light system, which divides countries into risk zones and imposes different rules depending on whether travellers are fully vaccinated or not.
You can read a full explanation of how the system works HERE.
Travellers from green zones can travel for any reason, while people travelling from orange and red zones can only travel for ‘non essential’ purposes such as tourism and family visits if they are fully vaccinated.
South Africa was one of 10 countries put on the newly created ‘scarlet list’ in December, over fears of the Omicron variant – the list imposed extremely tough restrictions on travel, within even fully vaccinated people only allowed to travel if they fit one of the narrow criteria for ‘essential journeys’.
But the French government issued a decree on January 6th moving South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini from the “scarlet” list to the “red” list. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Maritius had previously been moved to the red list, meaning there are currently no countries classified as ‘scarlet’.
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Countries are classified according to the health situation and the level of vaccination among the general population – and it is important to note that these classifications can change if the health situation deteriorates, the lists are regularly updated.
Here is the latest:
Green – all EU and Schengen zone countries as well as countries where the virus is not circulating widely – Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Taiwan, Uruguay and Vanuatu
Red – Countries where the virus is still circulating widely and there is “a worrying presence of Covid variants”. These are; Afghanistan, South Africa, Belorussia, Botswana, the United States, Eswatini, Georgia, Lesotho, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the DRC, Russia, Suriname, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Orange – everywhere else, including the UK, which has its own special procedure that you can read about HERE.