As the pandemic continues to cause issues to travel around the world, France has joined the growing number of countries that have mandated the need to have a test for Covid-19 prior to arriving in the country. The move follows the likes of New Zealand and the UK, who have introduced similar rules for travelers in recent weeks.
With travel policies changing on an almost weekly basis, here’s a look at which travelers can currently visit France, more information about the mandatory pre-flight tests for travelers and the restrictions in place in the country.
Is France Open For Travel?
As is the case for the majority of countries around the world, travel to France has been greatly restricted in a bid to limit further spread of Covid-19 within their borders. However, it is still possible to visit the country.
Those from EU member states, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland currently have the easiest routes into the country. At present, travelers from these countries are able to enter France without facing any Covid-19 restrictions – though this is to change soon once the testing requirement comes into force.
Those from the UK have more hurdles to jump to gain access to France. As well as a travel certificate, they must sign a sworn declaration stating they don’t have Covid-19 symptoms, have had no contact with anybody who has Covid-19 and agreeing to isolate for 7 days, they must also take a Covid-19 PCR test less than 72 hours before boarding the plane.
Those hoping to enter from other parts of the world may still be able to enter France, but it is not possible to do so for a holiday. Travel is only permitted for those who meet certain criteria for entry, such as medical professionals, researchers or students in the country. A full list of the exceptions can be found here.
Mandatory Covid-19 Tests – What Travelers Should Know
Those travelers who are due to enter France from next week must first have a Covid-19 PCR test taken at least 72-hours prior to their flight in order to gain access to the country. The new rule was revealed on Thursday night, following discussions amongst European leaders about potential travel restrictions in the region. The new rule is due to come into effect from midnight on Sunday, 24th January.
The news came as a surprise, as it includes EU travelers as well as international travelers. Travelers from the EU had escaped the worst of the Covid-19 restrictions until now, but the new rule will include travelers from any country. The government clarified today that it will only apply to those who arrive in France via air and sea, with those entering France at a land border exempt from the rule. Cross border workers and hauliers are exempt from the requirement.
Restrictions in France Travelers Should Be Aware Of
France has implemented strict rules in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. In metropolitan France there is a curfew from 6PM to 6AM, where people may only leave their homes for essential purposes and with an exemption certificate. Those who don’t follow the rules face receiving a fine. Bars, restaurants and cinemas are all closed, along with museums and most shops.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories