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Reader question: Do I still have to self-isolate in France even if I am fully vaccinated?

Reader question: Do I still have to self-isolate  in France even if I am fully vaccinated?
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP
Being fully vaccinated gives you various benefits - apart from the obvious one of protection from developing the most serious forms of Covid - but do you still need to follow the rules on self-isolation in France?

In France if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid, or you are alerted to being a contact case by the Covid-tracker app, then you should self-isolate and get a test.

If you yourself test positive you should self-isolate for 10 days after the test. 

If you develop symptoms you should isolate for 10 days after you first began to show symptoms and if you have a persistent fever you should stay self-isolated until at least 48 hours after the fever abates.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive you should take a Covid test.

If the test is negative you should isolate for seven days and then take another test – if that too is negative then you’re free to leave your isolation. If it is positive, follow the steps above. You can find a full explanation of self-isolation rules here.

Employees who are required to self-isolate and whose job cannot be done from home are entitled to an arrêt de travail that ensures they will continue to be paid while they are isolating – you can download this from your Ameli account.

But what about people who have had both doses of the vaccine?

The French health ministry says: “Even for those fully vaccinated, it is recommended they continue to apply barrier gestures, wear a mask and self-isolate if necessary.”

So in short, the same rules apply for self-isolation of contact cases, even if you have had both doses.

The ministry added: “As far as we know, the vaccines currently available or under development reduce the severity of symptoms and seem to reduce transmission of the virus.”

However it seems that even vaccinated people can spread the virus, hence the caution around self-isolation.

Being fully vaccinated does give you other benefits though, apart from the fairly big advantage of a much lower risk of getting seriously ill or dying from the virus, you can also enter a range of venues like sports stadiums, nightclubs and festivals using the French health passport.

Fully vaccinated travellers can also travel freely within the EU, from July 1st, using the EU health passport.


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