France set to lift Covid test requirements for vaccinated arrivals

France will soon lift its Covid test requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers, the country's Europe minister has announced.

France set to lift Covid test requirements for vaccinated arrivals
Many arrivals into France need Covid tests at present. Photo by Eric PIERMONT / AFP

Europe Minister Clément Beaune told France 2 TV on Tuesday: “We again required tests in December over the Omicron variant.

“In the coming days we will announce that tests are no longer needed for vaccinated people.

“This week there will probably be a new European protocol for vaccinated people arriving from outside the EU, with eased measures,” he added.

At present fully-vaccinated arrivals into France from within the EU and Schengen zone do not require a test, but all travellers – vaccinated or not – from many non-EU countries including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia need to show a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours in order to enter the country.

French TV station BFM report unnamed government sources saying an announcement will be made next week to end the test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers.

Unvaccinated travellers from orange list countries – which includes most countries outside the EU and Schengen zone – can only enter France if they are travelling for essential reasons, find the full list of accepted reasons HERE. Those who do qualify for travel also need to show a negative Covid test – either PCR or antigen – taken within 48 hours of departure.

READ ALSO Can I use a Lateral Flow Test to enter France?

This is unlikely to change, but travel could become easier for fully vaccinated travellers if they are no longer required to show a negative test, only proof of vaccination status at the border.

Last week the French government relaxed the rules on UK arrivals, dropping the requirement for a Covid test taken within 24 hours of departure and stipulating a 48-hour test instead. 

We will update our travel section HERE as soon as there is an official announcement.

Once in France, all travellers will need a vaccine pass in order to access venues such as bars, cafés, ski lifts and long distance trains. For many, a booster will be required for the vaccine pass – full details HERE.

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UPDATE: French air traffic controllers cancel strike action in September

The main union representing French air traffic controllers has cancelled calls for a strike from September 28th to 30th, after "reaching an agreement with their supervisory ministry."

UPDATE: French air traffic controllers cancel strike action in September

SNCTA, the main union for air traffic controllers said this week that they had lifted their calls for a three-day strike at the end of September after coming to an agreement with France Ministry of Transport. 

In a statement on its website, the SNCTA said “In view of the concrete progress made on the demands, the SNCTA is lifting its [strike] notice for September 28th, 29th and 30th. The strong mobilisation of September 16th was necessary and instrumental for reaching this conciliation in a very constrained calendar. Thank you to all of you!” 

The French ministry of transport has not yet commented on the above agreement or lifting of the strike.

The International Air Transport Association tweeted their support for the SNCTA’s decision to cancel further industrial action, calling Friday’s strike “unnecessary.”

The association also urged the European Union to implement a “Single European Sky.” This reform, which was put forward almost 20 years ago, has not yet reached fruition. It intends to shift the current system of air traffic organisation away from national borders and toward a “coherent zone” in order to reduce emissions and save both time and money.

The strike on September 16th left over 1,000 flights in France grounded, as well as widespread delays and over 2,400 flight cancellations across Europe. 

The SNCTA mobilised for wage increases due to the rising cost of living, in addition to an acceleration of recruitment in order to anticipate a wave of retirements. After Friday’s action, the union had called for further strikes from September 28th to 30th before reaching an agreement with their supervisory ministry.