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Reader question: Can unvaccinated second-home owners travel to France?

Reader question: Can unvaccinated second-home owners travel to France?
Photo: Valery Hache/AFP
It's been a tough 18 months for people who own second homes in France, with visiting opportunities greatly curtailed by health and travel restrictions, so what are the current rules?

Question: We own a property in France and we’re not vaccinated – are we still barred from visiting? If so, do you know when this is likely to change?

Although many health restrictions have been lifted, France is still operating its traffic light system for travel. This means that whether you are allowed to enter the country or not depends on two things – where you are travelling from and whether you are fully vaccinated, according to the French government definition.

READ ALSO How France’s traffic light travel system works

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See also on The Local:

If you’re travelling from a green list country you can travel for any reason, whether you are vaccinated or not, although non-vaccinated people need to present a negative Covid test at the border. Countries on the green list include the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and all EU and Schengen zone countries.

However if you are travelling from an orange list country things are more strict – and the UK is currently on the orange list.

MAP Which countries are on France’s green list?

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK can come to France for any reason and do not need to show a Covid test.

However for people not fully vaccinated, things are more difficult. Non-vaccinated travellers can only come to France if they fit the ‘essential reasons’ criteria.

These criteria are strictly defined and do not include tourism, family visits or visits to second homes – as we saw during earlier border closures, simply owning property in France does not give you any extra rights over entry.

French citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter without being fully vaccinated (proof of residency may be needed at the border), along with students starting the new academic year and people travelling for essential work reasons – find the full list of reasons HERE.

Readers have reported varying levels of checks at the border, but checks do happen and you can be denied entry and sent back to the UK if you do not have the correct paperwork, as this reader found out.

Unlike the UK, France does not have regular review dates of its traffic light travel list, the system is under constant review and in recent days new countries including Turkey have been added to the red list.

Once in France, unvaccinated visitors should also be aware that a health passport is required to access to many venues including bars, cafés, tourist sites and long-distance travel – full details on how that works HERE.

To keep up with the latest, head to our Travelling to France section or follow @TheLocalTravel on Twitter.


Member comments

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  1. Unless you have a valid MEDICAL reason you cannot be vaccinated, then the solution is safe, obvious, and (in EU & UK, at least) simple: Get fully-vaccinated!

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