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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‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Europe's airports chief told passengers to leave time for delays this summer as the air travel industry struggles to meet surging demand after the pandemic.

'Arrive early': Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

“The clear conjunction of a much quicker recovery with a very tight labour market is creating a lot of problems,” Olivier Jankovec, head of the Europe branch of the Airports Council International (ACI), told AFP.

He said there were issues from airports to airlines, ground handlers, police and border controls, but insisted: “The system still works”.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

“It’s important for passengers that they communicate with the airlines in terms of when they should get to the airport, and prepare to come earlier than usual to make sure to have the time to go through, especially if they have to check luggage,” he said.

Strikes by low-cost pilots and cabin crew across Europe – including this weekend – are adding to the disruption.

Speaking at the ACI Europe annual congress in Rome, Jankovec said airports had taken measures to improve the situation, which would come into effect from mid-July.

“Additional staff will be coming in July, the reconfiguration of some of the facilities and infrastructure to facilitate the flows will also come into effect in July,” he said.

“I think it will be tight, there will be some disruptions, there will be longer waiting times.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

“But I think that in the vast majority of airports, the traffic will go, people will not miss their planes, and hopefully everybody will be able to reach their destination as planned.”

He also defended increases in airport charges, after criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines.

Airports face “the same difficulties and inflationary pressures” as airlines, which he noted were putting their fares up, he said.

“Staff and energy is 45 percent of our operating costs, and of course inflation is also driving up the cost of materials,” he said.