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Everything you need to know about travel between France and the USA or Canada

Everything you need to know about travel between France and the USA or Canada
Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP
France has moved the USA and Canada onto its green list, opening up travel to all for the first time in more than a year. There are still rules and requirements in place, however - here's what you need to know.

When France introduced its traffic light travel list at the start of June, both the USA and Canada were on the orange list, which severely limited travel for non-vaccinated passengers.

However both countries have now been moved to the green list, which means that all passengers – vaccinated or not – can again travel to France for any reason, including tourism, family visits and visits to second homes, for the first time since March 2020.

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

Travel to France

Vaccinated – if you are fully vaccinated you can travel to France for any reason and do not need to quarantine or take a Covid test before travel. You will, however, need to fill in a declaration stating that you do not have Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with a Covid case in the 14 days before travel. You can find the declaration HERE.

In the context of travel, ‘fully vaccinated’ has a very specific meaning. Travellers must:

  • Have received a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicines Agency – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson (known as Janssen in France) 
  • Be at least two weeks after the second injection for double-dose vaccines, or two weeks after a single dose for those people who had previously had Covid-19
  • Be at least four weeks after the injection for people who had the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

You will need to show proof of vaccination at check-in and at the border, a certificate issued by a medical authorities that includes your full details as well as the type of vaccine you had and the vaccine batch number. This can be in either paper or electronic format.

Unvaccinated – you can travel to France for any reason and do not have to quarantine on arrival. You will, however, need a negative Covid test before you can board transport. This can be either a PCR or an antigen test, taken within the previous 72 hours. Children under 11 are exempt from the testing requirement.

You will also have to fill in a declaration stating that you do not have Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with a Covid case in the 14 days before travel. You can find the declaration HERE.

Masks – Masks are required during the flight and in all indoor public spaces in France, including on public transport. Some airlines have specific requirements on the type of mask that must be worn, so check with your airline before travel.

Masks are also required in certain outdoor spaces in France and failure to wear one correctly – so that it covers your mouth and nose – can result in a €135 fine.

READ ALSO Where do you need to wear a mask in France?

Rules in France – France is opening up and many health restrictions have been dropped as case numbers fall. There are still plenty of rules in place, however, while entry to certain spaces will require a health passport. Find a full breakdown of the rules HERE.

From France to the USA 

The US State Department has removed France from its ‘level 4’ list of countries and travel to France is now simply advised against, due to a combination of Covid numbers and the risk of terror attacks and demonstrations (advice that has been in place for several years now).

Entry to the USA remains limited to US citizens and permanent residents, and their family members. 

All passengers entering the USA from France need to provide a negative Covid test – PCR or antigen – taken within the previous 72 hours. Passengers under two are exempt from the testing requirement, but vaccinated travellers are not. If you have recovered from Covid in the 90 days preceding travel, you can provide a medical certificate instead of a Covid test. Find full details HERE.

Covid tests in France are no longer free to tourists, but prices are capped at €49 for a PCR test or €29 for an antigen test. They are available via testing labs for PCR tests or pharmacies for antigen tests. Popular holiday destinations will again be providing pop-up testing centres this summer.

READ ALSO How visitors can get a Covid test in France  

From France to Canada

Canada still has strict entry restrictions in place, but from July 5th these will be relaxed for fully vaccinated travellers.

From July 5th, fully vaccinated travellers can enter Canada for any reason and will not have to quarantine. They will, however, still need a negative Covid test before travel and to undergo on-arrival testing and complete an online form in advance of travel.

Until July 5th, and afterwards for unvaccinated travellers, only certain groups can enter Canada from France. These include Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and those travelling for vital reasons – find the full rules HERE.


Member comments

  1. Can I fly from the USA to Barcelona and then drive to Perpignan, with a negative PCR or antigen test, if I stay one night in Barcelona to rest?

    1. Yes it is still required. I had to get it for a flight for the USA the other day and had it approved within half an hour. But sadly the USA are not allowing anyone from France to enter without an essential travel reason. I was going for a wedding and had to cancel my flights last night (flight was for today).

  2. I think I’m going to give up on international travel this year. In addition to the uncertainties related to new strains of the virus, the utter incompetence and political point scoring bent of politicians in all countries but in particular France, Germany and the UK, mean that the chances of being unfairly and even badly treated at the borders of those countries make the idea of putting myself and my family through such an ordeal about as inviting as dipping my privates in boiling oil.
    My heart bleeds for those poor people who previously worked in the travel industry. They have been hung out as the sacrificial lamb to the great shame of all those politicians responsible.

  3. This article is inaccurate: “Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.” Thus, the U.S. rule for Covid tests is 3 calendar days, not 72 hours.

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