SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAVEL NEWS

France scraps Covid test requirement for all vaccinated travellers

The French government has announced the end of the requirement for a negative Covid test for all fully-vaccinated arrivals into the country.

France scraps Covid test requirement for all vaccinated travellers
Passengers board a Eurostar train at St Pancras International station in London on December 17, 2021, the final day before new restrictions are imposed on travelers to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. - France has announced that from Saturday the obligation to justify "compelling reasons" for travel from and to the United Kingdom, with the approach of the end-of-year holidays, because of the Omicron variant, which is developing at high speed in the UK. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Currently arrivals from within the EU do not require a test, but travellers coming from almost all non-EU countries, including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, need to present a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of departure.

However on Friday the government announced it was scrapping that requirement, saying: “proof of vaccination will be sufficient to come to France whatever country you are coming from, just as it was before the spread of the Omicron variant”.

The change comes into effect at 00.01am on Saturday, February 12th. 

Announcing the change, the statement from Prime Minister Jean Caxtex’s office said: “In view of the new phase of the pandemic characterised, in most countries, by the predominance of the Omicron variant and a high level of vaccination, the government has decided to lighten the health control system at the borders, particularly for vaccinated travellers.”

Travellers who are aged 12 and over, are not fully vaccinated and are coming from a country on the orange list (which includes the UK, and USA) cannot travel to France unless they have an essential reason – click HERE for the full list of accepted reasons.

Those who do qualify for travel will need to show a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of their departure date, and quarantine on arrival in France.

A booster shot is not required to enter France, but may be needed to get a vaccine pass for entry to venues including bars, cafés and ski lifts.

EXPLAINED How does the French vaccine pass work?

The French change comes one day after the UK’s travel rules also changed, lifted the requirement for post-arrival tests for fully vaccinated travellers.

Vaccinated travellers can now travel between France and the UK with no testing required at all. 

READ ALSO The vaccine pass rules for travelling to France with children

France on Friday also announced an easing of its mask rules and a more relaxed health protocol for schools, in addition to the planned changes to health rules that come in next week

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