France has increased COVID-19 entry restrictions on all third party countries, including the U.S, U.K, and Canada, because of fears over the Omicron variant.
Gabriel Attal, a spokesperson for the French government, told Bloomberg, “We are getting more worried by the day.”
“We are not panicking but we have to be as careful as possible, ” he said. The increased restrictions come as nations worldwide try to evaluate the danger of the Omicron variant.
The New Entry Restrictions
France will now require all visitors from outside the EU, including U.S, U.K, and Canadian tourists, to provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of their planned arrival in France. They will also need to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
France will also require a negative test from all travelers inside the EU. However, EU travelers will need to take a negative PCR or antigen test within 24 hours of arrival in France instead of 48 hours.
Additionally, from December 15, France will require anyone who’s received a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to prove they’ve received a booster jab. The CDC has placed France under a level 3 travel advisory following rising cases.
The COVID-19 Health Pass
Besides changes surrounding entry requirements, France has recently changed its policy on its COVID-19 Health Pass. As of December 15, all tourists over 65 will need to have received a COVID-19 booster shot to keep their health pass active.
From January 15, 2022, all people aged 18 and older will require a COVID-19 booster jab between 5 and 7 months after their last vaccination dose to keep their health pass active. France will give the option to booster shots to all adults living in France from November 29.
Without a COVID-19 Health Pass, France will exclude travelers from the following activities:
- Tourist attractions
- Long-distance train travel
Currently, travelers can get the COVID-19 health pass with proof of vaccination, a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 24 hours, and a document that’s over 11 days and less than six months old stating travelers have recovered from COVID-19.
Travelers can get the COVID-19 Health Pass with proof of vaccination meeting one of the following requirements:
- 7 days after the second dose of a Moderna, Astrazeneca, or Pfizer BioNTech jab
- 28 days after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson
- 7 days after a single vaccine dose for those who can prove they’ve already recovered from COVID-19. However, this only applies to those receiving their vaccine dose in France.
Restrictions Within France
France has made face masks mandatory for all people, even those who are fully vaccinated, in indoor public places. Local authorities have the discretion to enforce face masks in outdoor public places depending on the current COVID-19 situation.
France has made wearing masks on public transport mandatory for everyone over 11. They’re also compulsory in private hire vehicles without a plexiglass screen and all taxis.
Various travel operators may require specific masks inside France, such as surgical masks for long-distance travel. However, there is currently no curfew in place across the French territory and zero internal travel restrictions in place.
Europe’s Reaction To Omicron
Almost all European nations have increased entry restrictions and restrictions within the country following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Germany has banned unvaccinated people from entering bars and shops.
As a result, travel operators—such as Ryanair—are focusing on the summer as increasing travel restrictions in Europe ruin travel this winter.
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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