EXPLAINED: The Covid travel rules between France and Ireland this Christmas

Travel between France and Ireland over the festive period should be relatively straightforward compared to other destinations. But each country has its own entry requirements. Here's what you need to know.

A Ryanair flight takes off from an airport in Toulouse, France. Travel between France and Ireland is relatively straightforward, but there are important rules you should know about to avoid disappointment.
A Ryanair flight takes off from an airport in Toulouse, France. Travel between France and Ireland is relatively straightforward, but there are important rules you should know about to avoid disappointment. (Photo by PASCAL PAVANI / AFP)

Traveling to France from Ireland

Ireland is currently on the French ‘green list’ of countries. 

This means that traveling to France from Ireland is relatively straightforward. 

You can enter France whether you are fully vaccinated or not. 

If you are fully vaccinated you must present proof of vaccination via the EU Digital Covid certificate.

READ MORE How does France’s Covid traffic light system for travel work?

You must also sign a sworn statement saying that you do not have any Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with a confirmed case 14 days prior to your journey. It is available, in English, here. There is no need to take a negative test to enter France if you are considered fully vaccinated in Ireland

If you are unvaccinated, you must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than 24 hours before your departure to France. If you go for an antigen test, it must be capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 N protein. You must also sign the declaration, including the section that says you are willing to undergo an additional Covid test upon arrival in France. A further test is not obligatory for arrivals from Ireland, it’s just a possibility.

If you are not fully vaccinated but have proof of recovery from Covid (a certificate of recovery dated more than 11 days and less than 6 months prior to the date of arrival), then you do not need to take a PCR or antigen test in the 24 hours before your departure. 

READ MORE How tourists and visitors in France can get a Covid test

Bear in mind that you must be fully vaccinated in France to use the Covid health pass – which grants access to a wide variety of venues like restaurants, markets and nightclubs. 

Traveling to Ireland from France

All travellers from France to Ireland over the age of 12 must present a negative antigen test result taken at least 48 hours before their arrival OR a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before their arrival. This applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

For people who are unvaccinated or who are not recently recovered from Covid (proof of recovery within the last 180 days), only the PCR test option will be accepted. Self-administered Covid tests are not accepted. 

All people travelling to Ireland must fill out this Passenger Locator Form prior to arrival. 

Similarly to France, Ireland has introduced rules that require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry to some ‘indoor hospitality’ venues – such as pubs and restaurants. The EU Digital Covid certificate, as found on the TousAntiCovid app, can be used for this purpose. 

Member comments

  1. Did I dream this or was there a recommendation on numbers for parties/ events in people’s homes made recently?

  2. Correction: Travel from France to Ireland: An antigen certified test WITHIN 48 hours before arrival in Ireland is required, NOT “an antigen test taken AT LEAST 48 hours before their arrival.” Particularly for those travelling by boat from distant parts of France (e.g. Nice is 1,000 kms from Cherbourg), this detail is important. An antigen test may have to be done at a pharmacy on the way to the ferry.

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French parliament blocks return of the health pass for international travel

France’s new government has suffered an early setback as Parliament blocked a key part of the new Covid protocol bill, removing a clause that could have seen the return of the health pass at the French border.

French parliament blocks return of the health pass for international travel

The veille et de sécurité sanitaire bill is a roadmap for how the government intends to handle the Covid situation after the current health state of emergency ends on July 31st. 

The proposed legislation had provided for the possibility, if required, to restore the health pass for travel in and out of France, meaning travellers over the age of 12 would again have to show proof they have been vaccinated against the virus, have a recent negative PCR test, or have sufficient immunity after recently contracting the virus, in order to be allowed to enter France.

But, during a heated first reading – the atmosphere in the chamber was likened to a football match – MPs voted to remove the key article on the return of the health pass for travellers entering France from other countries.

The modified bill was adopted by 221 votes to 187 and 24 abstentions – mostly by MPs from the left – in the final vote on Tuesday night. 

The bill – which in its current form merely allows authorities to continue to collect health data on screening tests – must now go to the Senate.

“The times are serious,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Twitter, as she promised to “fight for the spirit of responsibility to prevail in the Senate.”

Health Minister François Braun also promised to “fight” in the Senate to restore the removed article to the bill, which he said had been “emptied of part of its content”. 

On July 8th, France passed 150,000 Covid-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

The country has seen a spike in infections since the end of June, due to the presence of the highly contagious Omicron and subvariants.

National health agency Santé Publique France reported around 120,000 infections per day over the week.

More than 1,000 patients with Covid are in intensive care, while over 17,000 remain in hospital.

France’s current health rules specify the use of the health pass only for hospitals and nursing homes – it is no longer in use for everyday venues like bars, restaurants, gyms or cinemas.

Masks are “strongly recommended” on public transport, but are only compulsory in hospitals and health establishments.

International arrivals from certain countries are required to show proof of either vaccination or a recent negative test, but most of the world is now on France’s ‘green’ list of countries with minimal travel restrictions.