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Covid-19 rules For Members

What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

The Local France
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What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?
From Monday, the vaccine pass will no longer be required to visit bars or cafés in France. Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP

If you're planning a trip to France in 2023, this is what you need to know about the Covid rules and recommendations that remain in place.

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If you are looking to visit France sometime in Winter 2023, here are the rules in place at present.

Health pass

France suspended its vaccine pass (giving people the option of showing either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative Covid test) on March 14, 2022, after requiring a pass in various forms since the summer of 2021.

The health pass came to an end on August 1st when the new “health monitoring and security” law came into effect, so there is now no venue in France that requires either a health or vaccine pass.

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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.

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.

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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 - As of late January 2023, those visiting from China will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations - which were set to last until January 31st - are set to remain in place until February 15th. For those visiting from other countries - France no longer imposes any travel restrictions.

The French government also retained the right to reinstate compulsory Covid-19 testing at the border if the health situation changes, for example the emergence of a concerning new variant.

This can be done if the Health Minister has reported its necessity and “after the opinion of the competent scientific authority” and does not require a debate in parliament to impose.

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The government will maintain the ability to bring in extra testing for those entering or leaving France until March 31, 2023. 

Covid-19 testing – Covid-19 tests will remain free for residents of France who are registered in the French health system and have completed their vaccine scheme. Visitors to France, those not registered in the French system or the unvaccinated will have to pay for a test – prices are capped at €22 for an antigen test or €54 for a PCR test. Tests remain widely available at pharmacies, medical laboratories and health centres.

Beginning on February 1st, 2023, those who came in contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to take a test. Previously, they were expected to test on the second day after contact.

Self-isolation – The French public health body also announced at the end of January 2023 that on February 1st, 2023 those who test positive for Covid are no longer obliged to self-isolate. 

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