This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.
Table of Contents
- France Travel Update, July 2021
- 1. Traveling around France 2021
- 2. Travel to France from European Countries
- 3. Travel to France from Non-European Countries
- 4. US Travel to France  and Health Pass for US Travelers
- 5. Travel to France for Private Visits (Friends, Families)
- 6. Antigen and PCR Tests in Paris Airports before Flying Back Home
France Travel Update, July 2021
France is opening gradually, and from mid-May, we will be able to enjoy the outdoor terraces of bars and restaurants, the museums, and other cultural spaces.
But what about international travel to France? Is France open to tourists? Can you travel to France?
In this post, you will find the last information about international travel to France, Health Pass France, and more. This is only about official information from the French Government via official channels, interviews, or press releases. No speculations, no crystal balls.
We are updating this post as soon as new information is available, so keep clicking for the latest updates!
- Lockdown Easing in France 2021
- Travel to France from European Countries
- Travel to France from Non-European Countries
- US Travel to France and Health Pass for US Travelers
- Travel to France for Private Visits (Friends, Families)
- Antigen and PCR Tests in Paris Airports before flying back home
DISCLAIMER: This post describes travel conditions /eventual restrictions in France at a national level. However, some cities, departments, or regions in France may decide to apply additional measures to avoid the spread of the virus. If you are traveling around France, ask about local measures when you check in at the hotel.
Travel from France to other countries: please check travel conditions on the official website of your destination country.
Last update: 17 July 2021
1. Traveling around France 2021
12 July 2021 | Quick debrief from Macron’s Speech 2 hours ago:
We need to vaccinate the whole population ASAP. The idea behind the new restrictions in France is to fight against the rise of cases infected by COVID-19 variant delta and to ensure that restrictions only impact the non-vaccinated
- From 21st July, the ‘pass sanitaire’ (Health Pass) will be required for all people older than 12 for all cultural and entertainment sites with a capacity of over 50. Either you are vaccinated or you have a negative test of less than 48 hours.
- From August, the health pass will be required also in cafés, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, planes, trains, etc.
- From September, PCR tests will cease to be free of charge for the French (unless they have a prescription).
A Healthcare emergency in Martinique & Réunion will be declared tomorrow with a curfew implemented.
9 July 2021 | Discos and nightclubs will open at 75% of capacity indoors and 100% of capacity outdoors. To go to these places, the Health Pass will be necessary.
16 June 2021 | France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex just announced the end of the curfew on 20 June. He also announced that the use of a mask outside won’t be compulsory from tomorrow Thursday.
The list of places where the mask is still compulsory after tomorrow Thursday includes:
- waiting lines (e.g. when you are waiting in line to enter the Louvre you need to wear a mask)
- crowded places
- outdoor markets
- public transportation
- indoors (offices, museums, churches, etc)
9 June 2021 | The third phase of lockdown easing in France starts on 9 June (2021). I am sharing the most useful info for travelers:
- The use of masks, indoors and outdoors, is still compulsory. Until the end of June at least.
- The curfew will be shifted from 9 pm to 11 pm.
- Cafés and restaurants will be able to use 100% of the outdoor terraces’ capacity, with only 6 people maximum per table.
- It will also be possible to drink and eat inside, with 50% of tables available accommodating 6 people maximum per table. Customers will have to fill in a form to indicate their contact information. Another option is to scan a QR code with the free French app ‘Tous Anti Covid.’ This is a way to find guests who are case contacts.
- Shops and covered markets will be able to accommodate more people: 4 m² per customer.
- For events hosting more than 1,000 people, a health pass will be required.
- Cinemas and festival halls will accommodate 65% of the venue’s capacity and up to 5,000 people.
- For seated outdoor festivals, the capacity is also set at 65% and up to 5,000 people.
- Museums will be able to accommodate one visitor per 4 m² of floor space.
GOOD TO KNOW: Many museums and attractions have suspended the on-site ticket sale until further notice. Buy your tickets online in advance; you will have to select a specific date and time slot. Booking online in advance is even necessary for the free museums or for people entitled to free admission (the final price of this booking will be 0€).
28 May 2021 | The first tourist cruises will depart from Marseille in Southern France on 20 June 2021. The first cruises scheduled from Marseille – by MSC Croisières – will travel to the Italian ports of Syracusa, Taranto, Civitavecchia, and Genova. These are ‘test cruises’ with a reinforced health protocol.
A PCR test will be necessary to embark on any of these cruises. Travelers will do the test in the port terminal a few hours before the embarkment.
20 May 2021 | During a visit to the Aude department, the French President confirms that in France, it will be necessary to wear a mask outdoors until the end of June at least.
19 May 2021 | SECOND PHASE OF THE LOCKDOWN EASING IN FRANCE!
- The terraces of cafés and restaurants will open on 19 May.
- Cafés and restaurants (inside) will open on 9 June.
- Museums, cultural spaces, theaters, cinemas, and cabarets will open on 19 May.
- Non-essential shops will open on 19 May.
- Fairs, exhibition halls will open on 9 June.
- ‘Foreign tourists’ will be able to travel to France from 9 June
- Curfew in all the French territory from 7 pm to 6 am. Then from 9 pm to 6 am (19 May to 8 June), from 11 pm to 6 am (9 to 30 June).
ÇA Y EST! The first café-terrasse of the season for Monsieur Le Président and Monsieur Le Premier Ministre. Deux cafés, s’il vous plaît!
2. Travel to France from European Countries
This applies to the European Union Member States, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland.
If you are arriving from a country within the European space, you can enter France. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (fully vaccinated or negative PCR/Antigen test carried out less than 72 hours before departure). You are not required to self-isolate.
SPAIN, GREECE, THE NETHERLANDS, CYPRUS, AND PORTUGAL: non-vaccinated travelers from these countries need to show a PCR/Antigen test carried out less than 24 hours to enter France.
4 June 2021 | From 9 June 2021, the Europeans who are vaccinated will be able to travel to France without any PCR negative test – Announced Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the French Minister of Transportation, today in an interview on French TV.
20 May 2021 | EU State Members reach a deal on the Health Pass for summer travel. After four rounds of negotiations, finally, there’s a deal on the Health Pass to facilitate travel through Europe. The Health Pass (a QR code on paper or smartphone) will show if a person has received a vaccine, has a recent negative test, or has immunity based on recovery. Thanks to this agreement, the European Parliament will be able to pass a law in the week from June 7 and for more than a dozen EU countries, including France, to test the system before a launch towards the end of June.
The UE State Members must accept all the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson), but they will be free to accept (or not) other vaccines (e.g. Sputnik, Sinopharm).
This certificate scheme is separate from plans to open up the European Union to vaccinated non-EU visitors.
17 May 2021 | The European Health Pass will be ‘available at the end of June,’ announced Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs. Europeans will be able to travel even without vaccination by presenting a negative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before their arrival in France.
The Health Pass will first be used in France, at a national level, at the beginning of June to access ‘large gatherings such as festivals or sporting or cultural events exceeding 1,000 people, then at the end of June to travel within the European Union.
12 May 2021 | The use of a Health Pass in France is approved by the French Senate. This Health Pass will be ready in June and operational between mid-June and the end of June. The Health Pass will be a tool for European openness and coordination and it will facilitate traveling between European countries.
3. Travel to France from Non-European Countries
France has established a classification of countries based on their health indicators:
- GREEN COUNTRIES: no active circulation of the virus. no worrying vius variants identified. No compelling reason is required to travel to France.
- ORANGE COUNTRIES: active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, without dissemination of worrying variants. A negative PCR or antigen test is required if the traveler is vaccinated.
- RED COUNTRIES: active virus circulation and the presence of variants of concern. A compelling reason remains necessary for traveling to France.
18 July 2021 | The French classification of countries based on health indicators is updated. Tunisia, Cuba, Indonesia, and Moçambique join the RED GROUP.
ORANGE COUNTRIES: From 18 July 2021, there’s no need for PCR /antigen tests or self-isolation for full-vaccinated travelers who want to visit France. Non-vaccinated travelers will need a negative PCR test carried out less than 72 hrs or an antigenic test carried out less than 48 hours ( PCR /Antigenic test carried out less than 24 hours for UK travelers)
17 June 2021 | Congratulations to Canada for joining the green team! Here’s the updated list of GREEN COUNTRIES allowed to travel to France for non-compelling reasons, even if they are not vaccinated: countries in the European space (European Union, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland), and Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.
GOOD TO KNOW: some members of our Facebook group reported that even if France does not require any covid test for travelers coming from ‘green’ countries, some airlines may ask for it so please, double-check your air company’s requirements to fly to France.
16 June 2021 | Today, the European Union opened its borders to the United States, Taiwan, Serbia, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Hongkong, and Macao. This means that the citizens of these countries are allowed to visit the UE countries even if they are not vaccinated.
However, each EU state member can decide to request a negative PCR test or a quarantine on arrival (I will check for France).
UK citizens are not allowed to visit the European Union for non-essential travel.
The European Union had its borders closed for non-essential travel since March 2020.
4 June 2021 | From 9 June 2021, the flow of travelers between France and foreign countries will be reopened according to modalities that vary depending on the health situation of countries classified by color (green, orange, and red) and vaccination, according to a document called ‘Strategy for reopening borders‘ (link to the document by the French Government, in French).
GREEN COUNTRIES: no compelling reason is required to travel to France. A negative PCR or antigen test of less than seventy-two is requested for unvaccinated people only.
- European Area
- New Zealand
- South Korea
GOOD TO KNOW: They are considered ‘vaccinated people’ who have carried out a full vaccination for at least fourteen days before the travel date (and four weeks for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
RED COUNTRIES: A compelling reason remains necessary for traveling to France. Negative PCR or antigen tests are required whether or not one is vaccinated, and quarantine of seven to ten days is imposed on arrival on French territory.
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Sri Lanka
ORANGE COUNTRIES: A negative PCR or antigen test is required if the traveler is vaccinated. Otherwise, he must have a compelling reason, a negative test, and go into isolation for seven days.
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- All the countries which are not on the red list.
1 June 2021 | On 9 June 2021, France will open for ‘foreign travelers.’
Please, note that the French Government never specified what exactly ‘foreign travelers’ means.
This is what Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, reported in an interview on a French TV channel (if you understand French, it starts talking about this topic around min 4 of the video):
Currently, the French Government is working at the European level on a list of non-European countries allowed to travel to France /Europe in June. This common list will be ready by the end of May. There are three main criteria to select the countries allowed to travel to France /Europe:
- To have a solid health situation,
- To have a reliable system to prove the travelers’ vaccination,
- Reciprocity. This country also needs to be open for us (French tourists) to travel.
31 May 2021 | We are still waiting for the list of non-European countries allowed to travel to France /EU countries in the next months (the authorities keep saying the list will be available ‘in the next few days’ …🙄). Non-European countries will be ‘green’ (allowed to travel to France/ the EU) or red.
Today, during an interview on a French TV channel, we learned from Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, that France will accept travelers ONLY with the Vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency:
Travelers with other vaccines (e.g. Chinese, Russian) will need a negative PCR test to visit France.
It is still unclear how travel will work for visitors younger than 18 years old.
Measures against the India and Brazil Covid-19 Variants
CONCERNED COUNTRIES: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrein, Colombia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and United Kingdom (since 26 May).
26 May 2021 | France will set up ‘compulsory isolation’ for travelers from the United Kingdom, announces Gabriel Attal, the French government spokesman. This is due to the worrying increase in the United Kingdom of the variant detected in India.
- UK travelers (non-French residents) can visit France only for compelling reasons
- Negative PCR or antigen test carried out in the country of departure of less than 72 hours for everybody
- 7-day isolation after arrival
16 May 2021 |Travel to France from these countries is only for compelling reasons. Here’s the list of additional measures to fight against the India and Brazil variants of Covid-19,
- PCR test with a negative result taken less than 36 hours before their arrival in France.
- A sworn declaration
- 10-day compulsory quarantine for travelers arriving from these countries
13 April 2021 | Flights France – Brazil suspended until further notice.
4. US Travel to France  and Health Pass for US Travelers
Today, the US is considered a GREEN COUNTRY by France.
- Full-vaccinated travelers from the US: to enter France, you will need to show a proof of full vaccination from your state. No quarantine requied.
- Non vaccinated travelers from the US: to enter Frane, you will need to show a negative PCR /antigenic test of less than 72 hours. No quarantine required.
HEALTH PASS FOR US TRAVELERS: if you want to travel to France from the US, you may be wondering how to do with the Health Pass requirement in France and the European Union. France does not expect you to have a Health Pass. Instead, you will be asked to show proof of full vaccination (an official paper or the COVID vaccine card from your state) where it clearly states the type of vaccine that you got ((Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson) and the vaccination dates. If you are not fully vaccinated, show a negative test (PCR or antigen) of less than 48 hours.
From 21 July 2021 | The ‘Pass Sanitaire’ (Health Pass) will be required for all people older than 12 for all cultural and entertainment sites with a capacity of over 50. Either you are vaccinated or you have a negative test of less than 48 hours.
16 June 2021 | Today, the European Union opened its borders (GREEN color) to the United States and other countries. This means that US citizens are allowed to visit the UE countries even if they are not vaccinated.
Currently, Brussels is in discussions with Washington for mutual recognition of health certificates, which must allow their holder to prove that he has been vaccinated, tested negative, or immune after having contracted the virus, and authorize him to come to the European Union without restriction.
4 June 2021 | Currently, France travel for US citizens is only for vaccinated people (see table and the map on the top of chapter #3). Check out our best tips for Americans traveling to Paris for the first time.
20 April 2021 | French President Emmanuel Macron says France will ‘progressively lift’ travel restrictions at the beginning of May, including for American citizens who are vaccinated.
Macron says initial plans have been discussed with the White House. The target for Americans traveling to France is summer 2021. Watch the interview with M. Le Président here below:
5. Travel to France for Private Visits (Friends, Families)
New! People traveling to France for private visits to friends and family where they do not have accommodation, such as a gîte, hotel, Airbnb, etc., booked. It is compulsory to fill in an attestation (certification) to enter the country. Click here for all the details.
This certification is also required for UK passport holders.
Whilst exempt from needing a visa for trips of under 3 months, the certification will be required.
The cost of the attestation is 30 euros and relates to the accommodation/per trip, so one attestation can be used for more than one person assuming your family/friends are traveling together.
The person hosting the family members/friends must apply for the attestation not less than 1 month before the visit commences. You can apply for the attestation here.
Please note this requirement is for all Third Country Nationals
6. Antigen and PCR Tests in Paris Airports before Flying Back Home
7 July 2021 | The Covid-19 Testing in Paris Airports for departing passengers is now paid and not covered by the French National Health Insurance. For prices and more information on rapid antigen and PCR tests, visit their website.
Only passengers with a valid flight ticket will be accepted in these test centers. Passengers will be guaranteed a result (in French and English) within 48 hrs maximum for a PCR test and within 1 to 2 hrs for an antigen test.
To do this, make an appointment on the doctolib.fr website
- Appointment Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) – Terminal 2E – Departures (in front of gate 16d)
- Appointment Paris Orly Airport (ORY) – Terminal 3, gate 34A; Terminal 4, gate 42D
Paris Charles de Gaulle opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm; Sunday from 7 am to 12.30 pm
Paris Orly opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm