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COVID-19 RULES

UPDATE: What are the Covid rules and recommendations in France for summer 2022?

If you're planning a trip to France in summer 2022, this is what you need to know about the Covid rules and recommendations that remain in place.

UPDATE: What are the Covid rules and recommendations in France for summer 2022?
From Monday, the vaccine pass will no longer be required to visit bars or cafés in France. Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP

Covid cases are rising again in France and authorities are preparing contingency plans. We will update this article if anything changes, but here are the rules in place at present.

Health pass

France suspended its vaccine pass on March 14th, after requiring a pass in various forms since the summer of 2021.

Bars, cafés, restaurants, ski lifts, tourist sites, gyms, leisure centres, sports stadiums, cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, concerts, large events and long-distance trains – none of these venues require any kind of pass or QR code to enter.

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Only Ehpad nursing homes, hospitals and medical centres retain the use of the pass and this is the health pass – which means that unvaccinated people can use a recent negative Covid test. Emergency medical care has always been provided with no pass required.

The pass is currently ‘suspended’ rather than scrapped, but the health emergency law that enforced it is set to run out on July 31st. The president of the National Assembly confirmed that there are no current plans to reintroduce the health pass in metropolitan France in the next version of the law, though there is a possibility the pass will be brought back for the implementation of border control measures – such as requiring visitors to France to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

The new “health monitoring and security” law will come into effect August 1.

Local authorities do not have the power to impose the use of the vaccine/health pass, so there will be no regional variations on this one. 

Masks – Masks are also mandated for patients and visitors in all medical establishments including hospitals and nursing homes.

Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, masks will once again be mandatory on public transport (on buses and tramways) in the metropolitan area of Nice. The city’s Mayor announced that the measure – intended to reduce the impact of the seventh wave – will take effect starting July 11. 

In the rest of France, masks are no longer compulsory on public transport, but they are ‘strongly recommended’ and in recent days both the health minister and the prime minister have advised people to wear masks on all forms of public transport.

Masks are not required in other indoor venues such as shops, cinemas or museums.

Private businesses are legally entitled to impose their own conditions of entry, which can include a mask requirement, and local authorities also have the power to impose mask rules if cases spike.

Workplaces – in the workplace, mask-wearing is no longer required (apart from in healthcare settings) and limits on workplace canteens and protocols on ventilation, spacing and hand sanitising have also ended.

As for télétravail (remote working), this “remains in the hands of the employers” and it is up to workers and their bosses to come to an agreement about working in the office or from home.

The government has ended its recommendation for at least two days a week of remote working, but if people prefer to continue working from home they can discuss it with their employer.

Vaccine mandate – the mandate making Covid vaccination – including a booster – compulsory for medical staff remains in place.

Travel – travellers coming from ‘green’ countries need to provide either proof of full vaccination (including boosters in certain cases) or proof of a recent negative Covid test. Requirements for red and orange countries are stricter, but most of the world is now green on France’s travel map – click HERE for a full breakdown of the travel rules.

Changes?

France is currently in the grips of a seventh wave of Covid as cases spike again. The health ministry has prepared a draft plan, which could be brought into effect if the situation gets worse. This included re-introducing mask mandates for certain areas, especially public transport’ and imposing extra restrictions on international travel. 

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STRIKES

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. 

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