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)

Health measures in France

Since December 15, 2020, a curfew has been implemented in France from 8pm to 6am. This curfew has been extended to 6pm-6am in some departments, due to changes in the health situation. To date, 25 departments are affected by the curfew: Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardennes, Doubs, Jura, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Haute-Saône, Vosges, Moselle, Territoire de Belfort, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Bas-Rhin, Bouches-du-Rhône, Haut-Rhin, Allier, Vaucluse, Cher, Côte d'Or, Alpes de Haute-Provence, Drôme and Var.

Travel is therefore prohibited during the curfew period, except in the following cases and upon certification only:

  • To go to a place of work or training;
  • For medical reasons (a hospital appointment or to purchase medication);
  • For compelling family reasons (e.g. to provide assistance to a loved one);
  • Upon judicial or administrative summons;
  • To carry out a public service;
  • For people with disabilities and their caregivers;
  • In rail or air transit for long-distance trips;
  • To take your pet out within a kilometre radius of your home.

A flat-rate fine of €135 will be applied in the event of non-compliance with the curfew, up to €3,750 in the event of a repeat offence.

For authorised outings, residents are required to take a form (which can be downloaded or completed online on the Ministry of the Interior website (External link) ) or a professional certificate with them.

Certificates are also available via the app Tous Anti Covid (External link) .

Inter-regional travel has been permitted since December 15, but overseas travel remains subject to providing a negative Covid-19 test result less than 72 hours old. People travelling to Corsica have had to complete a 'declaration of honour' since December 19. This printed and signed declaration is required by the transport company upon boarding. Passengers need to have taken an RT-PCR or antigen test 72 hours before departure.

In the declaration, the passenger must also certify (as the regulations already require) that they are not showing symptoms of Covid-19 and that they are not aware of having been in contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days prior to travel.

Further information updates are available here (External link) .

Openings and closures

Since 15 December 2020, the following establishments have been open or permitted to open:

  • Public service counters and banks;
  • All essential and non-essential shops;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Parks, gardens, forests and beaches;
  • Public transport, whose normal level of service is maintained;
  • Hotels, for essential business trips only (with restaurants closed, only room service is permitted)
  • Hostels, tourist residences, residential tourist villages, holiday villages and family holiday homes, as well as camping and caravan sites;
  • Food takeaway and delivery services.

The following remain closed:

  • Cinemas, theatres, performance halls and museums;
  • Restaurants, bars and other public hospitality establishments;
  • Sports halls and gymnasiums;
  • Nightclubs and casinos.

Winter sports resorts can receive visitors, but all public on-site facilities and ski lifts remain closed until further notice.

Other measures and restrictions

Wearing a mask is compulsory for anyone aged 11 and over, in enclosed public places throughout the country.

The obligation to wear a mask may be extended to places deemed relevant by the prefects of each department depending on the local epidemic situation. Detailed information is available from the prefecture (External link) . The map and updated data on the spread of Covid-19 in France are available on the government website (External link) .

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. Riders should ensure that the greatest possible distance is maintained between passengers or groups of passengers not traveling together. See more through 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) .

Overseas territories and departments

Specific adaptations are in force in the overseas departments and territories. Tests are set up on arrival and departure from these territories to avoid any risk of the virus spreading.

For trips to and from overseas territories and departments, all passengers require a negative Covid-19 test result less than 72 hours old.

Since October 17, the government has authorised the use of antigenic tests (the result of which can be obtained faster than an RT-PCR test) for passengers travelling on flights to French departments and overseas communities.

A testing centre is located in Arrivals at Paris Orly airport, Terminal 1A, open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 5pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 7am to midday. Bookable morning slots from 7 to 11am are dedicated to antigenic tests. Find out more here (External link) .

Another testing centre is open in Departures at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal 2E, opposite Gate 17. It is open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 5pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 7am to midday. Find out more here (External link) .

Results of antigenic tests can be obtained within a maximum of 2 hours from arrival at the centre.

Results of RT-PCR tests are sent to passengers by SMS or email, and can be viewed on the Cerballiance (External link) website within a maximum period of 48 hours.

Trips to Corsica

A specific system has been put in place for travel to Corsica up to and including February 7.

A RT-PCR or antigen test 72 hours before departure is mandatory for all travelers. The latter will have to present a declaration of honor to the transport company confirming that they have fulfilled the test obligation. In this document, passengers must also certify that they have no symptoms of Covid-19 infection, that they are not a confirmed case of Covid-19, and that they are not aware of having been in contact with a confirmed case within the fourteen days before the trip.

This declaration on honor, which can be downloaded from the website of the Corsican Regional Health Agency (External link) , will be required when boarding by the transport company.

International travel

Overseas travel has been permitted since December 15.

Providing a negative test result less than 72 hours old is mandatory in order to enter French territory from a country outside the EU. Rapid tests will be deployed for all arrivals into French ports and airports.

In the light of the new Covid-19 variant detected in the UK, France has taken restrictive measures for travel from the UK. A device limiting the flow of travellers between the UK and France is in force until further notice. Only certain categories of people are permitted to travel to France from the UK, subject to a travel certificate.

Among those to whom the exemption applies are French nationals, British nationals resident in France or who are transiting to their EU Member State of residence, those who established residency in France no later than 31 December 2020, and those who are required to travel for professional reasons.

Anyone departing from the UK must present to their transport company before boarding:

  • A 'declaration of honour' (sworn statement) certifying that they are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 and that they are not aware of having been in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case within the 14 days prior to their journey
  • A negative PCR test result carried out less than 72 hours before travel, for all travellers aged 11 years and over, regardless of their nationality. Negative antigenic test results are also acknowledged.
  • A travel certificate, downloadable from the French government website here (External link) .

For additional information on health checks at the borders according to your destination of origin, click here (External link) .

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

You can 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.