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 21 July, a health pass (External link) has been compulsory for leisure and cultural venues hosting over 50 people (e.g. theatres, concert halls, cinemas, amusement parks and sports venues), as well as for festivals.

From the beginning of August, the pass will also be used in cafés, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, care homes and nursing homes, as well as for long-distance travel by air, rail and bus.

Other places may be added to this list later if necessary, depending on the health situation.

Taking the individual situations of certain categories of people into account, the obligation to obtain a health pass is postponed until 30 August for:

  • young people aged 12 to 17;
  • employees at public venues and establishments.

Any person aged 18 and over must therefore present proof of double vaccination, a negative PCR test result less than 48 hours old or proof of recovery from Covid in order to access these places and events.

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

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.

Wearing a mask is compulsory for everyone aged 11 and over (and from six years old at school) on public transport and in enclosed public spaces throughout the country.

In view of the improving health situation, the obligation to wear a mask outdoors was lifted on 17 June, with some exceptions such as in crowds, queues, market and stadiums. The updated map and data (External link) on the circulation of the virus in France are available on the government website.

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 9 June, anyone over the age of 11 wishing to travel to Corsica from mainland France must be able to produce:

  • either a negative PCR test result less than 72 hours old or an antigen test less than 48 hours old (the only valid antigen tests are those for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 N protein; self-tests are not accepted for travel);

  • or proof of full vaccination status.

  • In addition, a sworn statement of no symptoms (External link) .

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

Travelling to French overseas territories and departments

Specific measures are taken for overseas territories.

As of 18 July, unvaccinated travellers from any origin to French Guiana, Reunion and Mayotte require a compelling reason for travel, except for minors accompanying fully vaccinated adults. As of 21 July, this rule also applies to Martinique.

A curfew is currently in force in Guiana, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Reunion, Mayotte and 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.

Domestic flights within the overseas territories: In view of the local health situation, the prefect may impose compelling reasons for departure from and arrival in the territories. Proofs are then checked by the airlines or the 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.

Travel to and from French Polynesia:

On 9 June, Tahiti and its surrounding islands reopened their borders to travellers from mainland France. The need for a compelling reason between French Polynesia and France has been removed for fully vaccinated travellers. Taking into account the national decree concerning the easing of border restrictions, the conditions of entry and stay have changed.

Further info is available from Tahiti Tourism. (External link)

Travel from French Guyana:

Travellers to mainland France from French Guyana must produce a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours or a negative antigen test from with 48, and take a further antigen test on arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days on arrival, while unvaccinated travellers are subject to a compulsory state-controlled quarantine. In addition, systematic antigen tests are set up on arrival for journeys from French Guyana to the West Indies.

Travel from the West Indies:

As of 9 June, unvaccinated travellers arriving in France from the West Indies must self-isolate for seven days.

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. Albania, Australia, Bosnia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States 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 (11 years and older) must present a negative PCR or antigen test result of less than 72 hours old. Children under 11 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. Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries must show a negative PCR test result of less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test result of less than 48 hours old. Unvaccinated travellers must provide a compelling reason.

• 'Red' countries: active virus circulation and variants of concern. Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, the Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay and Zambia. Travellers from these countries, whether or not they have been vaccinated, must have a compelling reason to enter French territory.

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 and Johnson & Johnson. Since 18 July, the Covishield vaccine has also been recognised by France in this capacity.

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

  • two weeks after second injection for double-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield);
  • four weeks after injection for single-injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
  • two weeks 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.