Beginning today, August 1st 2022, France has officially ended all Covid restrictions for international travelers. As the country reopens completely, travelers will no longer need to test before arrival.
Travelers will also not need to present proof of recovery from Covid-19 and will not require proof that they have been vaccinated. Travelers will no longer need to have a ‘compelling reason’ for entering the country and can come and go like they could before the pandemic.
This is excellent news for travelers hoping to spend a lovely holiday in France. Hopefully, this will be the definitive end to all Covid restrictions in the country.
Though France has ended all Covid restrictions starting today, the French government still retains the right to activate “emergency brake” measures for up to two months in the event of a new variant or significant increase in cases. This “emergency brake” contingency is valid until January 31st, 2023. After the 31st, the government cannot reintroduce measures without parliamentary approval.
An Open France & Europe
France’s decision to end all Covid restrictions is one more step toward all major European destinations being restriction free. The Netherlands and Spain are the last remaining major destinations in Europe that still have Covid protocols in place. Both of which still require proof of vaccination for passengers from certain countries.
The world is easing into normality after two years of extra travel protocols. As it does, travelers are sure to seek out countries that have fully rescinded their Covid protocols. Testing costs, the extra time spent in line, and the general hassle of restrictions have been obstacles for many travelers. Countries that still have them in place are likely to see fewer tourists than those without restrictions.
Travel Is Easier, For The Most Part
While travel will be easier without Covid restrictions, travelers should be wary of delays plaguing airports in France. For instance, between July 1st and July 10th, Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris only had 38% of its flights operate on time. This has become the new normal when flying, it seems. Staffing shortages and increased demand have put a lot of pressure on the aviation industry.
Avoiding The Chaos
It should be noted that Orly Field Airport (ORY), also in Paris, had 79% of its flights operate on time during the same period between July 1st and July 10th. If given a choice, travelers will be more likely to have a smooth experience by flying into ORY. The difference between airports can significantly impact travel, making it essential to know which European airports are the best for avoiding flight delays.
Another way travelers visiting France can avoid long lines is by taking advantage of fast-track entry when coming into the country. France now allows certain non-EU nationalities to come into the country by taking advantage of their Parafe Electronic Gates. The gates allow travelers to cross into France without speaking to a border agent. The most significant benefit to this process is the decreased wait times, as the lines are typically shorter and faster. Travelers hailing from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other countries are now allowed to use the system.
Travelers Love France
France, and Paris especially, has always been a highly sought destination by tourists. Recently, a TikTok survey revealed that Paris was the 6th most viewed destination on the platform, with 11.2 billion views as of May 17th, 2021. Airlines have noticed the increased interest, and France’s French Bee Airline recently announced $281 nonstop flights from Miami to Paris to take advantage of the destination’s popularity. The flights will begin this December and will operate three times per week.
A Post Covid World
As France, Europe, and the rest of the world continues to open up without restrictions, travelers are more eager than ever to return to the way things were before the pandemic. Though staffing shortages and supply chain issues still hinder some aspects of travel, the scrapping of restrictions is making travel easier for all parties. Travelers, staff, airports, and airlines will benefit as the world continues to reopen.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com