Famous for far more than its baguettes, berets and stripey Breton shirts, France sits high on the list of any traveler’s must-visit destinations list, and is bound to be a popular choice for travelers the world over when it’s time for a long-overdue summer vacation. However, getting into the country – and enjoying what it has to offer – is set to become much harder.
Fears about the potential spread of the more transmissible Delta variant have led the country to introduce restrictions not only on who can enter the country, but what travelers can do once they are actually inside. Here’s everything you need to know about this story.
Covid-19 In France – Information For Travelers
France has seen two major spikes of Covid-19 cases throughout the pandemic, though its more recent history with the virus suggests that it has turned a corner. November and April both recorded days where more than 80,000 new cases were discovered in the country, but the situation has dramatically improved, with yesterday bringing only 1,260 new cases to the country’s total.
France is also making steady progress with its vaccination campaign. Despite initial shortcomings as a result of supply issues throughout the EU, the country has now provided more than half of its inhabitants with one dose of the vaccine, and has fully vaccinated 36% of its citizens. However, in light of recent changes to restrictions, the number of people vaccinated is expected to see a sharp uptick in the coming weeks.
France’s Restriction Changes – Information For Travelers
France is set to become the latest country to make changes to who is allowed to visit, as the country tries to put a strategy in place designed at minimizing the chance of the Delta variant being imported from abroad. Speaking during a live TV appearance on Monday, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said: ”From this week, controls at our borders will be strengthened for those coming from high-risk countries, with strict isolation for unvaccinated travelers.”
The vague declaration was later clarified by the Europe Minister for France, Clément Beaune, who gave updates on changes to restrictions for three countries – the UK, Spain and Portugal. As far as the UK is concerned, fully vaccinated travelers can visit France for any reason without having to quarantine but must have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel. Those who have had the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine do not count as ‘fully vaccinated’ under French rules. Unvaccinated travelers however may only travel to France for essential reasons, must quarantine for 7 days and have a negative test result taken in the last 24 hours.
The rules are slightly more relaxed for Spanish and Portuguese travelers. Fully vaccinated travelers from these countries may travel to France for any reason, and do not need to quarantine or have a negative test. Unvaccinated travelers from Spain and Portugal can still travel for any purpose without having to quarantine, but they must show a negative test taken within 24 hours of travel.
Once travelers are in France, they will need to show a special Covid health pass from August in order to be able to do things such as visit a café, restaurant, mall or take a long-distance train. The new policy was also announced yesterday, and is seen as a way to allow people’s lives to head towards normality whilst also protecting them against potential exposure to the Delta variant, which has been dubbed as “the new enemy”. The announcement of such a policy led to an uptick in the number of people registering for vaccines in the country.
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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