SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAVEL NEWS

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TOURISM

What to know when visiting France’s lavender fields this summer

Known affectionately as 'blue gold,' France’s lavender fields are a popular tourist attraction every year. Here is what you need to know about visiting them:

What to know when visiting France's lavender fields this summer

Lavender is the “soul of Provence,” the French region where the fields can be found. Like wine, lavender was brought to France around 2,000 years ago by the Romans. The flower is the emblem of ‘Haute Provence’ regional identity, though the fields stretch from just outside of Nice almost all the way up to Valence, and they are not fully exclusive to France.

Even the washerwomen, those whose job it was to clean clothes and linen, were referred to as les lavandières in France. 

The flowers, which can be found mainly in two species in Provence, have several uses – as oils for cooking and bathing, as a perfume for soaps, and even as an antiseptic for healing wounds and scars.

The lavender essential oil that comes from Provence is even an AOP (L’Appellation d’origine protégée) in France. 

When is the best time to see the fields?

Typically, the lavender flowers from around mid-June to early-to-mid August. However, depending on the weather, especially if there is a drought or hotter temperatures, the lavender might flower sooner than normal, which is likely the case for this year.

This is unfortunately also a side effect of climate change, which might be pushing up the lavender flowering season.

Where should I go?

The Valensole plateau is perhaps the most famous place to go for lavender fields. Speckled with several small Provencal towns, the area is beautiful, with a mountainous backdrop in the distance. If you go here, you might also be able to see the sunflower fields too.

Sault is perhaps a bit less known, partially because due to its altitude, the lavender typically flowers a bit later.

It is still a great place to go see the fields, and every year the town hosts a Lavender Festival in August. Walking (or cycling) between the villages (Aurel, Saint-Trinit and Saint-Christol) is very manageable.

This is not too far from the Sénanque Abbey, a medieval 12th century abbey which is surrounded by lavender fields. You might notice some small stone houses called bories in the fields, which were historically used for field workers.

Luberon Valley is another location that comes highly recommended. In the area, there is a regional national park, home to rosé wines, castles (chateaux) and charming villages, like Gordes, a stunning hilltop village.

Here you can also find the Musée de la Lavande, if you are looking to learn more about harvesting, producing and distilling lavender, its industry, and some interesting regional history.

How to get there?

You can take a TGV train to Aix-en-Provence or Avignon, or rent a car. With a car, you can also enjoy the several scenic routes that allow you to see the fields from the roads.

What else is there to do while in the region?

The area is also known for its rosé wine, so you could take the opportunity to go visit some vineyards or spend some time wine-tasting. 

In the summer months, the south of France can get quite warm. If you are looking to go swimming or enjoy the water, the Gorges du Verdon are not too far away. Though a bit of a tourist hotspot, the canyon is a beautiful and a wonderful place for paddling along in a canoe.

If you’re a fan of hiking, you can always go for a (light) hike along the Ochre Trail near Roussillon. Here, there are two marked paths that will take you through sunset-colored red and yellow cliffs in an old quarry.

Words of Wisdom

Unless you have been given express permission, do not pick the lavender, as this is the farmer’s livelihood. You can always buy a bouquet from nearby souvenir shops for your photo shoots! 

Also, stick to the paths that exist to avoid trampling any crops, and of course do not litter in the fields. 

SHOW COMMENTS