Coronavirus COVID-19: the situation in France

Consult French government recommendations to learn more about travel and health measures in place.

For recommendations updated in real time concerning measures taken within French territory, consult the Government / Coronavirus info site. (External link)

Measures in place in France

As of 9 August, a health pass (External link) has been compulsory for access to certain places, venues or events (indoors or outdoors, regardless of capacity) such as theatres, amusement parks, concert halls, festivals, cinemas, museums, cafés, restaurants, hospitals, care homes and nursing homes, medical and social establishments (except in emergencies).

The pass also applies to long-distance travel by inter-regional public transport (air, rail and bus).

Any person aged 18 and over must therefore present proof of double vaccination, a negative PCR test result less than 72 hours old or proof of recovery from Covid in order to access these places and events.

Covid certificate for non-EU visitors application update

Since August 27, the French Government has implemented a new application procedure to deliver a COVID Certificate valid in France to U.S. and non-EU visitors.
(IMPORTANT: The dedicated email application announced and implemented on August 9 is no longer valid.)

Applications must now be received through this website (External link) .

The following conditions apply:

You are 18 years or over: Until 30 September 2021, the COVID certificate is not required for minors aged 12 to 17 years, and minors aged under 12 years old are not subject to COVID certificate requirements;

You have been vaccinated with a vaccine accepted by the European Medicines Agency (External link) or an equivalent (External link) & within the following time frame :
o After 4 weeks of receiving a one-dose vaccination (Johnson&Johnson);
o 7 days after the second injection for two-dose vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
o 7 days after and injection if you have recovered from COVID-19 (in this case, only one dose is necessary);

You are not a resident from the following countries: European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, or United Kingdom (England and Wales only)*;

• You are already in France or you intend to arrive within the coming days.

If you are not able to obtain a vaccination certificate, a negative result of an antigen test taken at a pharmacy, available all over France, grants the user a health pass that is valid for three days (72 hours).

  • If you have been vaccinated in one of the following countries: European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom (England and Wales only), you already have an EU Digital COVID Certificate, which is accepted in France, and you do not need a separate COVID certificate.

More details on the health protocols in public venues:
Holidays in France this summer: what you need to know

More information about all sanitary measures in France (External link)

Other measures and restrictions

Gatherings, meetings or activities on public roads bringing together more than 10 people simultaneously are prohibited.

The consumption of alcohol on public roads is prohibited.

The obligation to wear a mask outdoors was lifted on 17 June, with some exceptions such as in crowds, queues, markets and stadiums. However, it is still compulsory in public spaces in certain areas, by decision of the prefect. These areas are indicated by signs or posters.

Since 9 August, in places where a health pass is required, wearing a mask is no longer compulsory - although organisers, operators and the local prefect reserve the right to enforce it if required.

A fine of €135 will be charged in the event of non-compliance with wearing a mask in the places concerned, up to €3,750 in the event of a repeat offence.

Wearing a mask is compulsory on public transport. Travellers should ensure that the greatest possible distance is maintained between passengers or groups of passengers not travelling together. More information is available on the SNCF (External link) and RATP (External link) websites.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in taxis and rideshares.

Consult Covid-19 FAQs on the French government website here (External link) .

Travelling to Corsica

A specific system has been put in place for travel to Corsica.

Since 16 July, anyone over the age of 12 wishing to travel to Corsica from mainland France must be able to produce a sworn statement of no symptoms (External link)

This declaration must be accompanied by:

  • either a proof of full vaccination status
  • or, for unvaccinated persons, the negative result of an RT-PCR test carried out less than 72 hours or antigen test carried out less than 48 hours before boarding.
  • or a certificate of immunity for persons who have already contracted Covid. This proof consists of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic screening result carried out more than eleven days and less than six months before travel.

These documents (paper version or digital version via the TousAntiCovid application) must be presented to the transport company upon boarding.

Transport companies will deny boarding to travellers without the required documents.

Further info is available from the Corsican Regional Health Agency (External link) .

Travelling to French overseas territories and departments

A health emergency has been declared in the territories of Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Martinique and Réunion. Measures have been reinforced to slow the progression of the virus:

  • For Guadeloupe: a lockdown is in force from 8pm to 5am. From 5am to 8pm, only travel within a 10km radius is allowed, beyond which a compelling reason will be required;
  • For Martinique: a lockdown is in force from 7pm to 5am. From 5am to 7pm, only travel within a 10km radius is allowed, beyond which a compelling reason will be required;
  • For Reunion Island: a lockdown is in force from 6pm to 5am. From 5am to 6pm, only travel within a 10km radius on weekdays and 5km on Sundays is allowed, beyond which proof of identity will be required;
  • For Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy: a curfew is in force from 10pm to 5am. A compelling reason is required for any travel.

A curfew is still in force in French Guiana and in Wallis and Futuna.

For air travel to the French overseas territories, a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours or antigen test result from within 48 hours prior to boarding remains an obligation for passengers coming from France or other green or amber countries (External link) . Travellers from a red country must provide a negative PCR or antigen test result less than 48 hours old.

For domestic flights between the French overseas territories: in view of the local health situation, the prefect may impose the need for compelling reasons for departure from and arrival into the territories. Supporting documents are then checked by the airlines or Border Police.

International flights: Restrictions are decided locally by the State representative or relevant authority.

The Ministry of Overseas Territories encourages people wishing to travel to an overseas territory to find out in advance about the restrictions in place on the website of the prefecture or the high commission.

International travel

On 9 June, travel between France and foreign countries was reopened according to the varying situation in each country and travellers' vaccination status. A classification of countries has been defined by the health data and can be changed at any time. The country lists can be found on the government website (External link) .

From 17 July, all fully vaccinated travellers from countries classified as green, amber or red have been permitted to enter France without restrictions.

• 'Green' countries: no active circulation of the virus, no variants of concern identified. EU Member States as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican. The following countries are also included: Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United States, the Union of Comoros and Vanuatu.
On 17 July, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece were put on the green 'watchlist'.
Fully vaccinated travellers from green-list countries can enter France without a PCR test result. Unvaccinated travellers (from 12 years old) must present a negative PCR or antigen test result of less than 72 hours old (less than 24 hours for the countries on the 'watchlist': Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece). Children under 12 years of age are exempt from testing.

• 'Amber' countries: active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, but without the spread of variants of concern. All countries, except 'green' and 'red' countries.
Vaccinated travellers from these countries may enter the country without a PCR test.
Unvaccinated international travellers must provide a proof of a compelling reason and must present a negative RT-PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old before departure (PCR or antigen test less than 24 hours old for the UK).
Children under 12 years old are exempt from testing. A random test may be carried out on arrival at the point of entry. Finally, travellers will be required to carry out a 7-day self-isolation.

On September 12, 2021 at midnight the US, Israel and Oman were placed on the “amber” list of countries.

• 'Red' countries: active virus circulation and variants of concern. Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname and Tunisia.
Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries may enter without a PCR test.
Unvaccinated international travellers must show a compelling reason and a negative RT-PCR or antigen test less than 48 hours before departure. They will also be required to undergo an antigenic test on arrival and a 10-day self-isolation period monitored by the authorities.

Travellers to and from an EU country:

For travel within the European Union, a compelling reason is not currently needed, but pre-testing requirements are necessary.

Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece were placed under surveillance on 17 July within the EU, requiring travellers to produce a negative test result of less than 24 hours old (compared with 72 hours for other green-list countries).

Since 1 July, the health pass scheme has been adopted across Europe. (External link) All proof of testing, vaccination or recovery is now collected on a single pass called the 'EU digital Covid certificate'. European travellers can present the certificate's QR code to border police or airlines without worrying about the language in which the certificate is written. A green or red light indicates whether the EU traveller can enter or not. It is also possible to present a paper version of the pass.

States may also establish additional health measures if necessary (e.g. testing or quarantine).

Vaccines accepted by France:

The vaccines accepted by France are those recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield and Johnson & Johnson.

Proof of vaccination is only valid for the completion of a full vaccination schedule, i.e.:

  • one week after second injection for double-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield);
  • four weeks after injection for single-injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
  • one week after injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid (only one injection is required).

Further info on health-related border controls depending on origin: FAQ from the French Ministry of the Interior (External link)

Consult the websites of the prefectures or local authorities for more details.

Also visit the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (External link) .

What are the preventative actions to take to limit the spread of the virus?

There are simple actions to protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • Wash your hands very regularly;
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow;
  • Use disposable tissues and throw them away;
  • Greet others without shaking hands and avoid hugs;
  • Wear a mask if you feel ill;
  • Wear a mask in enclosed public places, on public transport, in taxis and rideshares, in shops, and in any other places deemed necessary by the prefects of each department depending on the local health situation.