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EXPLAINED: What people vaccinated with Covishield need to know about travel to France

France announced on Saturday that people who receive the Covishield injection, the version of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine manufactured in India, will be allowed to enter the country without quarantining. Here's what they need to consider before travelling to France.

EXPLAINED: What people vaccinated with Covishield need to know about travel to France
Photo: Ian LANGSDON / POOL / AFP.

The Covishield vaccine is mainly used in India and Africa, but is also widely administered in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to France if you have received the Covishield jab.

What’s the latest?

France will now accept the Covishield vaccine for travel purposes, as well as for use with the country’s health pass, which will soon be necessary for everyday activities such as going to the cinema or eating at a restaurant, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Saturday July 17th.

Covishield is the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced under licence by the Serum Institute in India. It is made to the same specifications as Vaxzevria, the version produced in Europe, but is not currently approved by the European Medicines Agency.

The UK and Indian governments had been putting pressure on the EU to recognise the jab. Several European countries already allowed visitors vaccinated with Covishield, including Germany and Spain. But as The Local reported earlier this month, France previously considered travellers from the UK, India and Africa who received the Covishield jab to be “unvaccinated”.

From Sunday July 18th, they will be treated the same as those who received a Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria injections.

What are the requirements for travel for people vaccinated with Covishield?

Castex also announced on Saturday that France was lifting all restrictions for vaccinated travellers. Whatever the country of departure, proof of vaccination means there is no need to show an essential reason for travel, a negative Covid test, or to observe a quarantine period.

READ ALSO Unvaccinated travellers to France from UK must show 24-hour test from Sunday

The statement said the exemption was in place because “vaccines are effective against the virus, and in particular its variant Delta”.

“We nonetheless strongly advise against travel from France to countries on the “red” list,” the website for France’s foreign ministry states.

Non-vaccinated travellers from “red zone” countries including India must have an essential reason for travel, take a test before and after travelling, and quarantine for ten days on arrival.

What does my vaccine certificate need to show?

France will now consider people fully vaccinated one week after they received their second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, including Covishield, instead of 14 days previously, and 28 days after their Johnson & Johnson jab.

In order to travel to France, you will need to show your vaccine certificate at the border. This needs to be a certificate from the issuing health authority that complies to EU or WHO standards – showing the person’s details, date of vaccination, type of vaccine used and a batch number – and can be presented either on paper or in a digital format.

Can I use the French health pass?

Once you have arrived in France, your vaccination certificate should also allow you to access establishments such as museums, bars, restaurants, as well as long-distance train and bus travel.

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

France has announced that Covishield can now be used for the health pass which must be shown to enter many leisure and cultural venues.

French residents can upload their vaccination certificate to the TousAntiCovid app, but it is more difficult for people vaccinated outside of the EU. Those coming from the UK can present an NHS Covid Pass instead.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal recently said there would be a ‘relaxation’ of the rules for people vaccinated outside the EU who cannot easily use the French health passport, and more information should be provided by July 21st, when the pass is extended to leisure and cultural venues hosting more than 50 people.

You can read our tourists’ guide to using France’s health pass HERE.

Member comments

  1. That is for ones good news, you return from any country without needing negative covid tests if vaccinated, now the next step should be that vaccinated people can choose or they want to wear masks. In anticipation I cut out two layers already, my mask is now a sinle layer summer mask now, lol.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

France's roads watchdog has issued its first red travel warning of the summer.

Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

Schools in France have not yet broken up for les grandes vacances, but traffic is expected to be heavier than normal on the country’s arterial roads as some holidaymakers head off early.

France’s roads monitor Bison Futé has warned travellers to expect delays and heavy traffic across the country. It has issued an orange warning – it’s third-highest level – for the whole of the country apart from the Paris region of Île-de-France, which it has placed on red alert for traffic levels heading away from the capital for Friday.

Image: Bison Futé

In the Paris region, traffic will be heavy towards the toll gates of the A10 and A6 autoroutes, where the first slowdowns could be recorded from late morning. The ring road and the A86 and A6b freeways will also be affected by these difficulties.

In the middle of the afternoon, the combination of commuters heading home and holidaymakers escaping the city is forecast to make travel difficult until late in the evening. Bison Futé advises those who can do so to leave or cross the Île-de-France before 12 noon. 

Elsewhere, it is not recommended to leave the metropolises and their suburbs between 2pm and 7pm.

Bison Futé recommends avoiding travel on Friday, July 1st:

  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A63 between Bordeaux and Bayonne, from 4pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 11am to 8pm;
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 1pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Marseille and Orange, from 2pm to 8pm
  • the A8 between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus, from 2pm to 8pm; 
  • The A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 6am to 10pm;
  • The A8 between Italy and Fréjus, from 3pm to 7 pm;
  • the A43 between Lyon and Chambéry, from 5pm to 7pm.

On Saturday, July 2nd, Bison Futé recommends avoiding:

  • Travelling in or crossing the Ile-de-France after 8am;
  • Travel out of France’s major cities before 10am;
  • The A13  between Paris and Rouen, from 10am to 5pm; 
  • The A13 between Rouen and Caen from 10am to 1pm;
  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 9am to 3pm; 
  • The A6 between Beaune and Mâcon, from 8am to 12noon; 
  • the A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 10am to 6pm; 
  • the A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 9am to 8pm.

On Sunday, July 3rd:

  • Avoid the A7 between Lyon and Marseille, from 11am to 8pm.

Schools in France break up on Thursday, July 7th so traffic is also expected to be heavy next weekend. 

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