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COVID-19 RULES

Calendar: The key dates to know as France tightens Covid restrictions

France will introduce new health measures in order to slow the arrival of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections due to the Delta variant, with more restrictions targeted at unvaccinated people. Here's what happens and when.

Calendar: The key dates to know as France tightens Covid restrictions
The health pass will be required in bars and restaurants from August. Photo: Bertrand GUAY / AFP.

President Macron gave an address on live TV on Monday July 12th, to announce a series of new restrictions, mainly aimed at encouraging as many people as possible to get vaccinated.

Here is the full calendar for the new measures.

From July 13th

Border controls are strengthened, with strict isolation for unvaccinated travellers coming from high-risk countries.

The government has yet to confirm whether ‘high risk’ refers to countries on the red list or orange list of France’s traffic light travel system, The Local has asked for clarity on this.

READ ALSO How France’s traffic light travel system works 

The French overseas départements of Réunion and Martinique are placed back under a state of health emergency, and a curfew is introduced in those areas.

July 21st

The health passport is extended to leisure and culture venues with more than 50 people such as cinemas, theatres and museums. This previously only applied to venues with more than 1,000 people.

EXPLAINED: How France’s reinforced health passport system will work

To access these sites, you will need to show one of three things:  a vaccination certificate, proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken in the previous 48 hours, or proof that you have recently recovered from Covid (having tested positive more than two weeks ago and less than six months ago).

Start of August

The health pass is once again expanded. It is now required for entering bars, cafés, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and for long-distance travel by coach and train. This measure still need to be debated by parliament and no exact date was given.

August 30th

Health passport becomes compulsory for children aged 12-17 and for employees at health passport venues. A little extra flexibility has been introduced for these groups in order to give them time to arrange vaccinations.

Autumn

Non-medical PCR and antigen Covid tests are no longer free. This covers tests taken for travel purposes or for the health passport, but tests taken for medical reasons such as for people with Covid symptoms or contact cases continue to be free, as long as they are prescribed by a doctor.

So far, no exact date has been provided for the change. At present, the cost of PCR tests are capped at €49.

Start of September

From the autumn, those who were the first to receive the Covid vaccine in France in January and February will be offered a piqûre de rappel (booster shot). They will be able to make an appointment from the start of September.

September 2nd

School return after the summer holidays, with the government planning an extra push to vaccinated 12-17 year-olds who did not get the vaccine over the summer. 

September 15th

The Covid vaccine becomes obligatory for healthcare workers and other employees in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, and establishments for people with disabilities; and for all professionals and volunteers who work in contact with elderly or vulnerable people, including in their homes.

Those concerned have until September 15th to get the injection; after that date, there will be checks and sanctions for those who have not been vaccinated.

Member comments

  1. Is France accepting vaccination cards (with name, lot number, date, etc.) as proof of vaccination? We are from the United States and we don’t have a digital vaccination certificate in our state. Thank you for any information! Deb Lasher

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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