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TRAVEL NEWS

Tourists: What to do if you test positive for Covid in France

With tourism opening up and travel rules relaxed more and more people are visiting France - but what if you test positive for Covid while you are here?

Tourists: What to do if you test positive for Covid in France
Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP

Although France has relaxed many of its Covid-related rules, self-isolation remains compulsory for people who have tested positive for the virus.

Testing

If you develop Covid symptoms, or you have been in close contact with someone who has Covid, you should take a test.

As soon as symptoms appear (fever or feeling of fever, cough, headache, sore throat, aches and pains, unusual fatigue, diarrhea…), you must:

  • perform an antigen test immediately (if positive, perform a confirmatory PCR test) or RT-PCR, regardless of your vaccination status, history of infection, or risk contact status;
  • Isolate yourself and reduce your contacts;
  • Prepare a list of people you have been in contact with in the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms;

Home-tests can be bought from pharmacies for a maximum price of €6 (most are cheaper than that) or you can go to most pharmacies on a walk-in basis and ask for an antigen test (test antigenique).

If you have symptoms you should take an antigen or PCR test, not a home test.

If you’re not a resident in France you will have to pay for the test, with prices capped at €22 for an antigen test or €54 for a PCR test.

For full details on testing types and how to book, click HERE.

READ ALSO The French vocab you need to get a Covid test

Waiting

While you are waiting for a test appointment, or waiting for the results of a test, you should self-isolate.

Positive

If your test is positive, you must self-isolate, although the length of your isolation depends on whether you are vaccinated or not.

Those who are considered fully vaccinated (a vaccination with a booster or a primary vaccination completed less than 4 months ago), and children under 12 who test positive should:

  • self-isolate for 7 days after the date of onset of symptoms or the date of collection of the positive test;
  • perform an antigen test or PCR test on day five:
  • if the day five test is negative and there have been no symptoms for 48 hours, isolation can be terminated;
  • if that test is positive or if no day five test is performed, isolation must be continued until day seven, without a new test to be performed at the end of the isolation period.

Anyone who is not vaccinated or who has an incomplete vaccination schedule (booster not completed within the time frame required for the health pass) should:

  • isolate for to 10 days after the date of onset of symptoms or the date of the positive test;
  • perform an antigen or PCR test on day seven after the date of onset of symptoms or the date of collection of the positive test:
  • if the day seven test is negative and there have been no symptoms for 48 hours, isolation can be terminated;
  • if it is positive or if no test is performed, the isolation must be continued until day 10 without any new test.

Note: It is recommended to respect the barrier measures (wearing a mask and hygiene measures) for the seven days after isolation ends following a confirmed positive test. 

Self-isolation

While self-isolating you should stay at home. If you have a garden you can go outside, but you should not leave your property and should avoid contact with people outside your household.

If you are staying in a hotel you should stay in your room, avoid communal areas and tell staff that you have tested positive so they can avoid close contact with you.

Contacts

If you have the French TousAntiCovid app, you can upload your positive certificate and you will be sent a link where you can fill in the details of anyone you have been in contact with before testing positive.

If you don’t have the app, Assurance Maladie now offers an online tool: Lister mes cas contacts that does the same thing.

Medical help

If at any point while you are positive you have difficulty breathing, you should call an ambulance on 15 (114 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing) or the European emergency number on 112. 

Member comments

  1. Covid? I feel I just had it but no money to test, so I just carried on as I would have pre covid. No I do not wear a mask, but I am vaccinated times three. Maybe it was not covid, although all cold symptomes were there, we will never know.

  2. Could anyone advise please: What is the availability of Covid anti-viral treatments like Paxlovid in France and Spain?

    Paxlovid must be taken within a few days of developing symptoms, so it is important to know where and how to get it if needed.

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For members

CRIME

French police launch new service to keep empty homes secure

Leaving your property empty puts it at risk of burglars or squatters and this is a particular worry for second-home owners, whose homes are often vacant for prolonged periods.

French police launch new service to keep empty homes secure

French police run a scheme called Opération Tranquillité Vacances which involves householders telling their local police that they will be away, so they can keep an eye on the property.

The scheme has run in various forms since 1974, but now an online platform has been set up allowing property owners to make their declaration in just a few clicks.

It’s largely targeted at French people who are going away over the summer and leaving their homes empty, but it’s not limited to French nationals and can be used all year around.

Under the scheme, householders and businesses can ask their local gendarmes to keep a watch over their properties while they are away for a period of up to three months.

READ ALSO How to get rid of squatters from your French property

Police and gendarmes patrols visit houses on their list at various times during the day or night, checking shutters, gates, and back gardens to make sure all is as it should be – and to act as a deterrent to any criminal groups checking the area.

The new online service is not limited to French nationals or French residents, but it does require a FranceConnect account to operate, meaning that you need to be registered in at least one French database (eg the tax office, benefits office or in the health system).

The form can be used to cover both main residences and second homes (résidence secondaire) but there is a limit of three months at a time for the property to be vacant.

You can find the form HERE and it can be completed between three and 45 days before your departure.

You can also register in person at your nearest police station or gendarmerie unit. Take ID and proof of address, such as a recent utility bill, if you do it this way.

Summertime is high-season for criminals in France, who target homes that have been left vacant while their owners are away on holiday.

Opération Tranquillité Vacances was introduced in 1974 as a means to keep crime rates down during the summer holiday period. It was extended to include other school holidays in 2009, and is now available all year round.

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