France bans unvaccinated visitors from the USA

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France bans unvaccinated visitors from the USA
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP

The French government has added the USA and Israel to its orange list for travel - meaning that tourists will only be allowed in if they are fully vaccinated.


The move comes two weeks after the EU removed the USA from its 'white list' of safe countries over concerns about infection rates and a lack of reciprocity on travel from the US government.

Individual EU countries make their own decisions on borders, and the French government announced that from Sunday, September 12th at 00.01am both the USA and Israel are orange list. Both had previously been on the green list for travel.




This means that fully vaccinated travellers can come for any reason, and do not need to show a negative Covid test.

However people who are not fully vaccinated can only enter France if they meet the criteria for 'essential travel' - this includes French citizens and residents returning home, students beginning academic studies in France and essential work trips, but does not include tourism, family visits or visits to second homes.

You can read the full list of permitted 'essential reasons' HERE.

Unvaccinated travellers who qualify under the essential reasons rules must also present a negative Covid test less than 72 hours old at the border, and are required to quarantine for seven days on arrival. The quarantine can be done at a private home or a hotel.

To count as fully vaccinated, 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). The Indian-produced Covishield vaccine is now accepted by France 
  • Be at least two weeks after the second injection for double-dose vaccines or for 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

The American CDC vaccine card is accepted as proof of vaccination at the border.

Once in France, a health passport is required for access venues including bars, cafés, tourist sites and long-distance train travel. For this the CDC vaccine card is not accepted, so a French QR code is required – here’s how people from the US can access that.


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