Many European countries are taking measures to limit free movement of people due to the Covid pandemic. But on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron made clear that he wants travel within the EU and Schengen zone to remain frictionless.
“Facing variants of the virus, we must continue to act as Europeans. Vaccinated people will not have to take tests to travel between EU member states,” he tweeted following an EU Council meeting.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, he suggested that border closures between EU countries had a “much reduced efficiency” when it came to containing the spread of the virus.
“From the moment that this or that variant is present in an EU country, it spreads to the others,” he said.
However certain EU countries like Italy are not following Macron’s line. Italy has just re-introduced mandatory testing for all travellers whether vaccinated or not coming from within the EU.
Concretely, France’s entry policy for people travelling from European countries will not change if Macron’s declaration stands, although it’s possible France could tighten restrictions for those not vaccinated.
France only requires PCR or antigen Covid tests for non-vaccinated visitors coming from EU countries, which are on the “green list”.
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This test must be completed either 24 or 48 hours before your departure, depending on which EU country you are travelling from.
Macron’s announcement came on the same day that France imposed strict new travel restrictions for people coming from the UK (and for French people who want to go to the UK). All non-essential travel between the two countries is now banned.