Coronavirus COVID-19: the situation in France

Consult French government recommendations on the travel and health measures in place.

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

Visitors

Following the favorable evolution of the health situation in France and in Europe, and in accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission, as of June 15, France lifted all movement restrictions at its internal European borders (land , air and sea) put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

People from European countries (EU member states as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) can therefore enter French territory without restrictions related to coronavirus.

In a reciprocal arrangement, visitors from the UK are no longer subject to restrictions, but remain subject to a two-week quarantine upon arrival.

Since July 1, France has proceeded to a gradual, differentiated opening of the borders outside the Schengen area, depending on the health situation in the associated countries.

In parallel, to fight against the virus, France has set up since Saturday July 25 a reinforced control of flows at its borders. France has drawn up a list of 16 countries where the virus circulates very strongly and from which it will not be possible to enter France without a negative PCR test before boarding or on arrival:

• These 16 countries are: South Africa, Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, United States, India, Israel, Kuwait, Madagascar, Oman, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, Turkey.
• For the following countries: United Arab Emirates, United States, Panama and Bahrain, a PCR test is mandatory 72 hours before departure. Travelers will have to show a negative test before boarding a plane bound for France or else they will be denied boarding.
• For the rest of the countries on this list, a PCR test is mandatory on arrival, upon exiting the plane.
• Entry into French territory for countries with a high circulation of the virus is only possible in specific situations, such as French nationals and people who live in France.

Additional information on health checks at French borders: FAQ du ministère de l'Intérieur français (External link)

Overseas territories

  • Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélémy, Saint-Martin and Reunion: non-urgent travel has been permitted since June 22.

  • On July 11, the state of health emergency and quarantine measures for travellers entering Reunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon were lifted.

Before travelling to these islands from mainland France, a negative coronavirus test result from within the last 72 hours is mandatory for all passengers over 11 years of age. A PCR test is performed free of charge in a laboratory on presentation of your flight ticket.

  • French Polynesia: all quarantine measures were lifted on July 15 and borders were reopened to international tourism. All travellers must declare a negative coronavirus test result from within 72 hours before the flight, and present the registration receipt at Etis.pf.

  • New Caledonia: international flights remain suspended until at least July 31.

  • Guiana and Mayotte remain in the 'orange zone', with the state of health emergency extended until October 30.

Please consult the individual destination or local authority websites for more details.

For more information: Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France from the French Foreign Ministry (External link)

Travel information in the event of cancellations or postponements:
• Air France: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/hp/news-air-traffic-air-france.htm
• SNCF: https://www.sncf.com/en/passenger-offer/travel-by-train/coronavirus-our-response (External link)
• Thalys: https://www.thalys.com/fr/fr/situation-sanitaire-coronavirus-mesures-commerciales-exceptionnels (External link)
• Eurostar: https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/service-information/coronavirus-and-eurostar-service (External link)

Health measures in France

After a period of lockdown from March 17 to May 10, new measures have come into force in France, in successive stages of lockdown easing.
The measures in force during this stage apply to the whole of the French territory classified as part of the 'green zone', with the exception of Mayotte and Guiana, classified as part of the 'orange zone'.

Note that wearing a mask is compulsory on public transport and in enclosed public spaces for anyone aged 11 and over, in addition to the application of barrier gestures. A fine of 135 euros may be applied in the event of non-compliance with wearing a mask in the places concerned.

This new measure is part of the prevention and vigilance measures adopted by the French government to avoid an epidemic rebound.

The following enclosed public places are concerned in particular: train stations and airports, public transport, restaurants, cafes and bars, hotels and other collective accommodation, museums, shops, administrations and banks, covered markets, libraries, religious establishments, indoor sports establishments, etc.

The complete list of these places is available on the website of the French Government's Ministry of Solidarity and Health here (External link) (French)

  • It is possible to travel throughout the country, including overseas territories, without a certificate

  • Parks and gardens, beaches, lakes and other bodies of water are open

  • Major museums and landmarks are open across the country. Wearing a mask to visit is compulsory. Leisure parks and outdoor spaces with a maximum capacity of 5,000 people are open in all zones. Likewise for all theatres and concert halls, subject to strict social distancing rules. Activities involving more than 1,500 people must be properly declared, so that the necessary precautions can be guaranteed.

  • Cinemas, casinos and games halls are open across the country, and summer camps can open their doors in compliance with health protocol

  • Restaurants, cafés and bars are open across the territory in compliance with health protocol (wearing a mask when moving around inside the establishment, tables spaced one metre (roughly 3 feet) apart, and tables for a maximum of 10 people), except in ‘orange zones’

  • Group accommodation (tourist residences, holiday villages, campsites, etc) are open in 'green zones' in compliance with health protocol. At hotels, new health rules are offering customers reassuring reception conditions

  • Individual, team and contact sports are permitted, with preventative measures adapted to the different categories of activities concerned. Combat sports remain prohibited at this stage, to be reviewed before the start of the new school year in September

  • Major festivals, sporting events and gatherings of over 5,000 people are suspended until at least September. Events for up to 5,000 people are permitted in open-air spaces, and in covered spaces subject to fulfilling specific health rules

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory on all public transport. Passengers should maintain the greatest possible distance between themselves and other passengers or groups with whom they are not travelling. Find out more on the SNCF (External link) and RATP (External link) websites

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory in taxis and rideshares

  • Trade shows, fairs and congresses will be able to resume their activities on September 1 without capacity limitation, but in strict compliance with barrier gestures, including the wearing of a compulsory mask.

- Nightclubs remain closed until further notice.

  • Ferries carrying over 100 passengers are prohibited from calling into ports in Corsica, and from calling into or anchoring in the internal or territorial waters of the French overseas departments and regions (Islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion and French Polynesia) as well as Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and Wallis-et-Futuna, unless special authorisation is granted by the representative of the competent State for the community in question. River cruises have been authorized to reopen since July 11. More information here (French).

The epidemiological situation will be reassessed from September 2020 concerning nightclubs and international sea cruises.

FAQs on COVID-19 from the French government (French) (External link)

What are the ‘barrier actions’ to be respected in order to limit the spread of coronavirus?

The situation is improving in France, but we must remain cautious. Follow these simple steps to protect your health and that of those around you:

  • Wash your hands very regularly
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Use and dispose of single-use tissues
  • Greet without shaking hands and avoid hugging or kissing
  • Wear a mask if you are showing symptoms
  • Wear a mask on public transport, in taxis and in shops where required.