Coronavirus: what is the current situation in France?

Coronavirus: what is the current situation in France?

Find out the latest travel advice surrounding Covid-19 and how it will affect your travel to Paris and the rest of France. 

The Covid-19 situation in France is rapidly evolving. Keep track of developments in our timeline below and find out what to expect if you’re planning to visit France soon here. The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has useful information about the virus for visitors to France in English. There is even more information on the French government’s website (in French).


– From Friday 14 January, vaccinated UK visitors to France no longer need a compelling reason to enter France and will no longer need to self-isolate on arrival. 

– France’s vaccine pass (formerly its health pass) is no longer needed in leisure venues from 14 March. It will, however, remain necessary for entry to some health establishments such as homes for the elderly. Find out more about France’s vaccine pass in our article on France’s pass sanitaire.

– Face masks are no longer obligatory in most indoor or outdoor settings in France. However, it remains in place for public transport.

– If you are fully vaccinated and travelling to France, you will need to provide proof of vaccination and a sworn declaration, which you can download from the government’s website. You will no longer need to show results of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure.

– If you are not fully vaccinated and want to travel to France, there are different rules depending on your country of departure. These are also outlined here on the French government’s website. You will also need to show the results of a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 24 hours of departure. From 18 December 2021, you have also needed a compelling reason for travel (and it can’t be for leisure or visiting family). 

– Children (regardless of vaccination status) travelling to France from the UK with a vaccinated adult do not need to provide an essential reason for travel or self-isolate upon arrival. However, children travelling to France from the UK with an unvaccinated adult do need to provide an essential reason for travel and self-isolate upon arrival.

14 March

France’s vaccine pass is no longer mandatory to enter leisure venues. The requirement to show the pass remains in place for some healthcare settings. Masks will no longer need to be worn indoors either.

3 March

From 14 March vaccine passes will no longer be mandatory in France to enter venues, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced. Face masks will also no longer be mandatory apart from on public transport. 

16 February

French nightclubs will be able to welcome partygoers once again from today, having been closed since December. Concerts will also be permitted to be held again.

In more good news for the hospitality industry, cafés and bars will no longer be restricted to table service, and people will be able to eat in cinemas, sports grounds, trains and planes.

12 February

From today, fully vaccinated travellers arriving in France will no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test. Unvaccinated travellers must continue to do so.

11 February

From today, fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from France will no longer need to take a Day 2 lateral flow test. The new rule also applies to under-18s. Unvaccinated travellers will still need to take a Day 2 test but if the results are negative they will not need to self-isolate.

9 February

France is expected to drop its requirement for pre-departure Covid-19 tests for international visitors soon, reports claim. The move will affect vaccinated travellers, while it is expected unvaccinated travellers will still need to provide proof of pre-departure tests.

4 February

The time limit for a pre-departure test needed by fully-vaccinated UK visitors to France has been upped from 24 to 48 hours. Unvaccinated travellers from the UK to France will still need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test from the past 24 hours.

27 January

From mid-February,  people who haven’t had the full coronavirus vaccination course and who want to use France’s vaccine pass will need to show proof of a positive Covid-19 test from the last four months. Previously, proof of a positive Covid-19 test taken in the previous six months was acceptable.

24 January

From today, France’s health pass becomes a vaccine pass following the approval of France’s Constitutional Council on Friday. Previously, unvaccinated people could enter leisure and transport facilities like cafés and long-distance trains with proof of a recent negative PCR or antigen test. This is no longer accepted under the new rules. People must either be fully vaccinated or have proof of being recently recovered from Covid-19.

In other news, nightclubs will be able to reopen from 16 February, having been closed since before Christmas. 

The UK government has also announced that fully-vaccinated visitors travelling to the UK from France and other countries will no longer need a post-arrival Covid test.

17 January

The French government has given final approval to a vaccine pass, meaning that at some point, people in France will need a vaccination certificate to enter certain leisure and transport facilities. Currently, unvaccinated people in France can access the country’s pass sanitaire, or health pass, with proof of a recent negative Covid test. More details regarding the proposed vaccine pass are expected to come in the next fortnight. 

14 January

France’s ban on UK tourists has been lifted from today as fully vaccinated Brits can now visit France without needing an essential reason to travel or needing to self-isolate upon arrival. Unvaccinated UK visitors to France will still need to provide a compelling reason to travel and self-isolate in France upon arrival.

13 January

France’s tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has announced an end to the blanket ban on UK visitors to France, starting from tomorrow (14 January 2022). Fully-vaccinated travellers from the UK will no longer need an essential reason to visit France, as they have done since December, and will also no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival in France. They will, however, still need to provide negative results of a PCR or antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure.

12-17-year-olds will need to show proof of double vaccination to use the French health pass to access leisure venues but will not need to have been boosted. 

6 January 2022

France’s list of ‘compelling reasons for travel’ for UK visitors has now been extended to include business travel and people transiting via France to get to their home in the EU.

4 January 2022

The UK government is scrapping its pre-departure Covid-19 tests from 4am Friday and Day 2 PCR tests will be replaced by lateral flow tests. 

3 January 2022

From today, France has cut the isolation period for fully-vaccinated people infected with coronavirus to seven days, down from 10. They can also be released from quarantine after five days if they have a negative rapid antigen or PCR test. 

Meanwhile, French MPs have today been drafting vaccine pass legislation which would only allow fully vaccinated people to visit some French services including restaurants and long-distance transport. If it passes, it is expected to come into force in around a fortnight. 

16 December 2021

The French government has announced that UK tourists will be banned from France from Saturday 18 December in a new rule to fight the spread of coronavirus. French nationals and their spouses will be exempt, as will hauliers. UK visitors who need to travel to France will once again need a “compelling reason” which does not include business or tourism. All travellers from the UK will also now need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of travel, not 48 hours.

Furthermore, both vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals in France from the UK will need to self-isolate. Travellers will have to register their details on an app and may have to self-isolate for up to ten days, but this can be shortened to 48 hours by carrying out another negative Covid-19 test in France. 

15 December

New measures come into force today which means over-65s who have not received all 3 Covid-19 vaccines (including a booster jab) will no longer be able to use the health pass, or pass sanitaire. By 15 January, all over-18s will need proof of a booster vaccine to continue using the health pass. 

 From today, at-risk children can receive a Covid-19 vaccine and there are plans to extend the vaccine programme across the younger generation. 

7 December

Nightclubs are set to close in France for four weeks from this weekend (11 December) to combat a surge in coronavirus cases in France. There will also be more use of facemasks and further social distancing in French schools.

4 December

From today, travellers aged 12 and over entering France will need to show proof of a negative PCR test or antigen test taken either 24 hours or 48 hours before travel, depending on the origin country. 

1 December

People travelling to France from outside the EU (including the UK) will now need to present a negative Covid-19 test. The new measure affects both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

29 November

If you use a negative coronavirus test result to use France’s health pass, from today a negative test result will only be valid for 24 hours instead of 72.

27 November

The UK Prime minister has announced that PCR tests and a 48-hour isolation (until a negative PCR result is received) will now be required on return to the UK from any location and regardless of vaccination status. This is due to the emergence of the new Omicron variant. You will need to take the test within two days of your return to the UK. 

25 November

The French government has announced that from 15 January 2022, coronavirus booster jabs will be mandatory for over-18s to continue using the French health pass. In a press conference on 25 November, Health Minister Olivier Véran said that as of Saturday 27 November, booster jabs would be available to all over-18s in France. The time between receiving your second coronavirus vaccine and your booster jab has been cut from six months to five months.

From tomorrow, it will be once again mandatory to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and at Christmas markets.

22 November

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that the use of the French health pass (pass sanitaire) in French ski resorts is “probably” necessary as France’s Covid numbers increase. If rates pass 200 cases of coronavirus for every 100,000 people, such measures would have to be implemented.

 At the moment, wearing a mask is compulsory for children over 11 in all ski lifts and queues for them. Social distancing must also be respected.

19 November

UK booster jabs have been added to the NHS’ vaccine passport app to enable older people to travel successfully to countries where proof of the third jab is needed, such as France. From 15 December, all over-65s will need to show proof of their booster jab to continue using their health passes.

9 November

In a televised address to the nation, President Macron announces that the fifth wave of coronavirus has begun. He says over-65s will need a third jab (a booster) to be able to continue using their health passes from 15 December. He also called on unvaccinated residents to get their jabs. 

14 October

The French government has decided to extend France’s Covid-19 state of emergency until July 2022. The current bill was set to expire in November. The move will allow the government to continue to impose coronavirus measures on the country as needed.

7 October

From 15 October, coronavirus tests in France will no longer be free to unvaccinated people. Test will, however, remain free for those who are vaccinated.

1 October

From 4 October, mask-wearing in French primary schools will no longer be mandatory in 47 departments where coronavirus cases are low.

Meanwhile, ski resorts await news from the government as to what measures will be implemented in France’s mountain resorts this winter.

30 September

From today, teenagers (over-12s) will now need to present a French health pass to access certain public venues, following the same measures that have been in place for adults for two months now.

17 September

The UK has announced changes to its traffic light system for travel that will take effect from 4 October. The key changes will include fully-vaccinated travellers returning to England from non-red list countries will not need to take a pre-departure Covid test before arriving back in England. There will also now just be a red list and a ‘rest of the world’ set of simplified measures according to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.

6 September

The rule which meant French shopping centres had to ask shoppers for a pass sanitaire to enter has been cancelled in court for areas where the coronavirus rate is lower than 200 cases per 100,000 residents. It remains in place for certain departments where the incidence rate is higher including Alpes-Maritimes, Var and Vaucluse (full list here). 

16 August

From today, many of France’s department stores and shopping centres (largely in Paris and the south of France) require visitors to present a pass sanitaire on arrival. 

11 August

The French government has released details of how non-EU citizens (including people from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the US and Canada) can access the French health pass system. More details here.

10 August

The US has raised its travel warning status for France to Level 4 – Do Not Travel. You can find full details of the advisory on the US Embassy’s website.

9 August

From today, more public venues in France such as cafés and medical establishments will require a health pass to visit. You can find out how to acquire your own French health pass here.

6 August

From Monday 9 August, more places in France will require a pass sanitaire to visit, including cafés and restaurants, retirement homes and long-distance trains. Please visit our health pass article for more details.

5 August

The UK government has announced that from 4am BST on Sunday 8 August, France will be placed on the UK’s amber list. This will mean that fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine for ten days upon their return. They will still need a Covid test during the three days before their departure from France and another on day 2 of being back in the UK. 

The French overseas territories of La Réunion and Mayotte have been moved to the UK’s red list.

28 July

The UK government has scuppered travel plans by announcing that France is exempt from its new travel system which will see fully-vaccinated visitors to England from the EU and US not have to quarantine. 

26 July

The French parliament has approved plans for a health pass for restaurants, bars and some forms of domestic transport (planes and trains) to be made a legal requirement. The law will come into force at the beginning of August.

16 July

The UK government has announced that France will move onto its ‘amber plus’ list, meaning even fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from France will need to self-isolate for up to ten days. Travellers will also be required to take Covid tests on days two and eight of their quarantine. The new rules include anyone who has transited through France from a green or amber country, but Eurostar passengers travelling back to the UK on services not stopping in France are thought to be exempt.

UK travellers going to France who haven’t been fully vaccinated will need to produce a negative PCR test result from the 24 hours before their arrival.

13 July

Last night President Macron addressed the country to explain his new measures to curb the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Most prominently, healthcare workers will need to be vaccinated by 15 September or they will neither be able to work or receive a salary after this date.

A health passport will be required for some hospitality establishments like restaurants and shopping centres across France from August. This passport will be a QR code or certificate showing that the holder either: has recently had a negative Covid-19 test; is fully vaccinated; or recently recovered from Covid.

A curfew is set to resume in the French overseas territories of Martinique and Réunion.

9 July

France’s nightclubs have reopened to vaccinated partygoers (or those with a recent negative Covid-19 test). Venues are at 75% capacity.

The French government has also warned residents against holiday travel to Spain or Portugal amid a rise in Covid-19 cases in the two nations.

30 June

Today marks the fourth stage of President Macron’s déconfinement measures, which will see France largely re-open. 

Outdoor events will no longer have a limit on attendees, although safety precautions will still need to be in place and attendees at events over 1,000 capacity will need a pass sanitaire.

Most indoor cultural, hospitality and sports centres will also be allowed to go back up to full capacity. For indoor concerts, capacity will be at 75%. Nightclubs are still closed and are set to reopen on 9 July.

Mask-wearing is no longer obligatory outdoors but remains necessary indoors.

A French government advisor has warned that France may endure a fourth wave of the virus in the autumn, France 24 reports.

20 June

France’s curfew, which has been in place in some form for over half a year, has ended in all departments today. Residents will no longer need to carry an attestation when leaving home during night-time hours.

18 June

From this Sunday (20 June), France’s night-time curfew will be lifted. The curfew was originally meant to remain in place until 30 June, however Prime Minister Jean Castex said the good coronavirus results no longer justified it.

17 June

From today facemasks will mostly no longer need to be worn outside, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced yesterday. The exceptions will be in crowded outdoor situations such as while queuing, at a busy market or in a sports stadium.

9 June

The latest phase of France’s lockdown easing strategy begins today with the resumption of indoor dining and reopening of borders. For more details about France’s reopening to foreign travel, please read our in-depth article.

The outside terraces at France’s restaurants and cafés can now also go back to full capacity, as until now they had been allowed to open at 50% capacity. 

The nightly curfew has also been extended from 9pm to 11pm.

4 June

The French government has revealed its own traffic light system for foreign travel for when the country opens to international tourists on 9 June. France currently requires a motif impérieux (essential reason) for travelling outside of the country, but from 9 June it will open its borders to certain countries. Every country has been given a colour – red, orange or green – denoting the restrictions applied by the government.


These are defined by the French government as having no active circulation of the virus and no variants of concern. These include the European Area, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore.

Travelling to or from green zone countries: Vaccinated people can travel freely, but non-vaccinated people will need a negative Covid PCR test taken within the past 72 hours.


These are defined as having active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, without the spread of variants of concern. All countries not listed as part of the green or red zones fall into this category, so this includes the UK and the USA.

Travelling to or from orange zone countries: Vaccinated people will need a negative Covid PCR test taken within the past 72 hours. Non-vaccinated people will need an essential reason to visit.


These are defined as having active circulation of the virus and the presence of variants of concern. These countries are Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, South Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey and Uruguay.

Travelling to or from red zone countries: The government advises against leisure trips for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to these countries. Vaccinated people can travel with an essential reason.

For more information about the essential reasons considered by the French government and the traffic light system, visit the official website.

31 May

From today, France has stopped non-essential visits from UK visitors over fears of the spread of the Indian variant. Travellers from the UK must now undergo a seven-day self-isolation and present a negative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before departure.

27 May

The French government has announced that anyone arriving in France from 31 May must quarantine for seven days. The move comes amid concerns over the spread of the B.1.617.2 variant of the coronavirus, the so-called Indian variant.

 If the visitor is not a French resident or national, they will need an essential reason for their journey which could be health or family needs, or approved work or study. Unfortunately, travelling to France to view or buy a property, or to check on a second home, is not a valid reason

Upon arrival in France, the visitor must produce a negative test result from either a PCR or lateral flow test taken 48 hours or less before departure. After self-isolating for seven days, another negative PCR test must be produced.

For further information, visit the government’s French travel page.

26 May

France is set to introduce a compulsory quarantine for visitors arriving from the UK, following Germany’s lead. More details are set to be released in the coming hours. 

19 May

France’s cultural venues and café terraces have reopened as planned today following months of closure due to anti-coronavirus measures. Restaurants are able to fill up to 50% of their outdoor seating capacity, and cinemas can hold up to 35% of their capacity.

The nightly curfew has also been pushed back to 9pm.

7 May, 2021

As expected, France has been placed on the UK’s amber travel list, meaning that visitors face up to 10 days of self-isolation on their return home to the UK. Read our in-depth article here.

4 May, 2021

Rules on travel limitations in France have ended today. Older pupils are also able to return to school. 

30 April, 2021

Foreign visitors, including those from the UK, may be allowed to visit France with a ‘health pass’ from 9 June as part of new measures announced by President Macron. No details have been revealed about said pass yet, but the country trialled a ‘digital health pass‘ earlier this month. The ‘health pass’, which could be either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, is also hoped to allow people to attend large-scale events such as big football matches and concerts.

22 April, 2021

France’s national lockdown is set to be lifted from 3 May, the government has announced in a press conference this evening. Speaking to the nation, Prime Minister Jean Castex said the Covid-19 pandemic “appears to be behind us”. He confirmed that nursery and primary schools will reopen next Monday (26 April) while high schools will reopen for in-person classes on 3 May. The 7pm curfew will remain in place after the lifting of the lockdown until the pandemic is under control, although Castex suggested that some shops and leisure activities could open mid-May. 

6 April, 2021

France’s schools will shut today as part of the country’s efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus. Primary schools and nurseries will be closed for three weeks, while schools for older children will be shut for four weeks. 

4 April, 2021

A partial lockdown announced by the French government on 31 March came into effect today. Non-essential businesses have closed and inter-region travel has stopped. 

31 March, 2021

President Macron has announced that France will be subject to new lockdown measures following a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases. The lockdown measures currently in place across 19 departments will now be extended across the country, with non-essential shops closed and travel limited.

25 March, 2021

France has banned outdoor gatherings of more than six people in its latest attempts to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Three more departments will also be under lockdown restrictions: Rhône, Aube and Nièvre.

22 March, 2021

The French government has clarified the rules around the attestation form for the current lockdown in 16 French departements. In previous lockdowns, you needed to fill out a form to explain your reasons for going outside (daily exercise or a supermarket trip, for example) but this time, the form will only be needed for any travel further than 10km.

18 March, 2021

A month-long lockdown across 16 departments and encompassing 21 million people in France has been announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex. Paris, Alpes-Maritimes and Hauts-de-France are among the affected areas – see this useful map. During this new lockdown, from midnight on Friday 19 March, people will still be allowed to take exercise outdoors within 10km of their home.

 Castex also announced a change to the nationwide curfew – this will remain in place but has been extended by one hour to 7pm to reflect the longer daylight hours.

11 March, 2021

France has slightly relaxed rules on travellers going to and from seven countries outside the EU: the UK, Singapore, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel and New Zealand. Travellers will still be required to present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their departure. Previously, travellers needed a motif impérieux, or essential reason, for going to or coming from these countries, but this will no longer be necessary.

9 March, 2021

The BBC reports that Paris has been told to reduce the number of non-Covid treatments it provides by 40% as demand for beds in intensive care soars. Hospitals in the capital are nearing capacity as the number of severe Covid-19 cases rises.

8 March, 2021

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be approved for use in France this week. The vaccine is 85% effective in preventing serious cases and only one dose is needed. The Haute Autorité de Santé will come to a decision towards the end of the week.

4 March, 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex will lead a press conference tonight at 6pm French time to update the French public on the coronavirus situation in France.

3 March, 2021

France has now approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s with pre-existing conditions in a change in stance.

Elsewhere, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has spoken out against the prospect of a weekend lockdown in the City of Light

1 March, 2021

There is talk in the French media of a ‘pass sanitaire’ that could be one way of getting the country back to normal – but is it a vaccine passport by another name?

25 February, 2021

20 more departments are being monitored to see if stricter coronavirus measures, such as those in Alpes-Maritimes, are justified.

24 February, 2021

A local lockdown at weekends has been announced by Health Minister Olivier Véran for the northern French town of Dunkirk/Dunkerque, starting this Friday.

22 February, 2021

France has imposed a weekend lockdown upon the coastal urban region of the Alpes-Maritimes department. The new measures will affect cities like Nice and Cannes, and will be in force for 90% of the department’s population. Residents will be allowed one hour of daily exercise within five miles of their home during the lockdown, which will come into effect on Friday at 6pm and lifts the following Monday at 6am. The lockdown will be in force for the next two weekends (26 Feb-1 Mar, 5-9 Mar). Large shops in the area will be closed and masks must be worn in ‘high traffic’ areas in the department.

8 February, 2021

Rules come into force today banning children from wearing homemade facemasks. From today, only category 1 facemasks may be worn in educational establishments.

4 February, 2021

Prime Minister Jean Castex is set to address France at 6pm French time regarding the country’s Covid situation.

Elsewhere, France’s ski lifts will remain closed until March and state aid has been offered to affected areas.

30 January, 2021

France has announced that it will close its borders to all countries outside the European Union from tomorrow (Sunday 31 January), although hauliers will be exempt. Travellers entering from the EU, apart from hauliers, will require a negative PCR test. Large shopping centres will also close and travel to France’s overseas territories will be limited.

24 January, 2021

France has imposed new coronavirus curbs at its borders in an effort to prevent another national lockdown in France. From today, travellers arriving in France by air or sea must produce a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours to be allowed entry.

21 January, 2021

The French government has announced that the country’s ski lifts are to remain shut into February, in another blow to the French ski industry.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that France may make clinical, rather than fabric, masks mandatory, as Germany has done.

14 January, 2021

Prime Minister Jean Castex addresses the nation at 6pm French time to update the public on coronavirus restrictions in France. A 6pm curfew will be in effect nationwide for at least 15 days, but a full lockdown will not be implemented yet. From 18 January, the quick lateral flow tests will no longer be valid for travellers arriving in France from non-EU countries. Also from 18 January, high-risk people will also be offered the Covid-19 vaccine, regardless of age.

7 January, 2021

French ski lifts were set to reopen today, but this has now been pushed back by a least a week.

4 January, 2021

The planned reopening of cinemas and museums has been postponed from 7 January for the foreseeable future. Children return to schools as usual today.

A curfew from 6pm-6am has been introduced in 15 departments. These are: Vosges, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Nièvre, Saone-et-Loire, Meuse, Ardennes, Haute-Saône, Territoire de Belfort, Doubs, Jura, Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes.

20 December

France has blocked arrivals from the UK to France for 48 hours following the discovery of a mutant strain of coronavirus in the UK. Flights from the UK to France have been suspended and UK truckers are being told to avoid the ports.

18 December

France won’t return to normal until next autumn, a French scientific advisor has warned. Jean-Francois Delfraissy explained to TV station BFM that France’s vaccine capabilities would mean that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine would be spread out across 2021.

17 December

President Macron has tested positive for Covid-19 and has begun a week of self-isolation.

14 December

From tomorrow, France will relax more of its strict coronavirus lockdown measures, Museums and cinemas were set to reopen, but this is now going to happen in 2021 instead, along with restaurants. An 8pm curfew will be imposed, although it will not be enforced on Christmas Eve – but it will be in place on New Year’s Eve. Families will be able to celebrate Christmas together, but no more than six adults are allowed to be together.

10 December

Prime Minister Jean Castex is set to address the French public tonight at 6pm French time regarding the current coronavirus restrictions in France. The original plan was for France to enter a second stage in the lifting of the confinement from 15 December if case numbers improve, and Prime Minister Castex is hoped to provide an update on this.

3 December

France’s coronavirus vaccine will be free of charge. One million people are set to be given the vaccine in January.

2 December

France is stopping its skiers for venturing abroad to the slopes by introducing random border checks.

28 November

The first stage of the relaxation of France’s coronavirus lockdown begins today, with shops and hairdressers welcoming limited numbers of customers. Shops will be allowed to open until 9pm to allow for more customers despite limits of numbers at any one time. Hospitality venues remain closed.

24 November

A three-step easing of France’s lockdown will begin from Saturday (28 November), President Emmanuel Macron has told the French people. That means more shops can open and people can travel further for leisure – you can travel within 20km of your home for three hours for exercise. The attestation system will remain in place, however, and working from home is still encouraged. From 15 December, more places will be able to open like cinemas and museums. Unfortunately for the hospitality sector, restaurants and cafes are set to reopen on 20 January.

From 15 December, when holiday travel will be allowed, there will be a curfew in place between 9pm and 7pm. However, there will be a temporary easing of restrictions between 24-31 December during the festive period.

The first vaccinations for the most vulnerable are hoped to take place at the end of December or early January, but they won’t be made compulsory.

Ski resorts do not look like they will be able to welcome guests until after the festive season.

17 November

France has now surpassed two million Covid-19 cases, announces Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon.

12 November

In a press conference, French Prime Minister Jean Castex tells the French public that any loosening of lockdown measures after 1 December would be ‘strictly limited’ to certain businesses. The likes of bars, restaurants and sports halls would not see restrictions lifted. Castex said that one in four deaths in France were now due to the coronavirus.

9 November

While France’s new coronavirus cases rates were down on Monday, as usual at the beginning of the week, French health chief Jérôme Salomon warned that the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic was yet to come, reports France 24.

5 November

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced further restrictions in Paris to combat the spread of coronavirus after some citizens were not “playing by the rules of the game”. The new measures include takeaways having to close at 10pm.

30 October

The national lockdown has begun and people will need to carry one of three documents when they leave their home (please see them here). There is the attestation de déplacement, if you’re leaving your home for exercise, for example; the justificatif de déplacement professionnel, if you’re on essential work; and the justificatif de déplacement scolaire, that students will need to carry.

29 October

In his televised address, President Macron announced that France will go into a second national lockdown from Friday 30th October, lasting until at least the end of November. Non-essential businesses will close, although factories and schools will remain open. As with the first lockdown in the spring, people will need to fill in a form to leave their home and will only be allowed to do so to buy essential goods, for emergencies, for one hour’s worth of exercise or for essential work. Travel between regions will be banned.

28 October

After France records its highest single-day death toll since April, President Macron is set to announce new anti-Covid-19 measures in a television address at 8pm French time tonight.

27 October

France records its highest single-day coronavirus death toll since April, with 523 more deaths from the virus.

23 October

France’s curfew scheme aimed at combating the spread of coronavirus has now been extended to 38 more departments and will be in place for six weeks. The move comes as the country announced a record 41,622 new cases. The 21:00 to 06:00 curfew will come into force at midnight on Friday,

21 October

President Macron’s wife Bridget has gone into self-isolation after coming into contact with somebody later diagnosed with Covid-19. It is not yet clear if the President will also have to self-isolate.

20 October

Once again the number of daily coronavirus cases in France has risen to above 20,000 after a dip to around 13,000 last week. If this trend continues, France may reach the one million cases mark by the end of this week or the beginning of next.

16 October

Airport testing could be rolled out in France by the end of October, said transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari on CNews television. The rapid antigen tests could be given to all departing international passengers.

15 October

A night-time curfew has been imposed in Paris and eight other French cities in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus. The 9pm-6am curfew will take effect on Saturday 17 October and last at least four weeks, said President Macron in a televised address yesterday. The other affected cities are Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Rouen, Toulouse, Montpellier and Grenoble. Only essential trips outside during these hours will be permitted and anyone found in breach of the new rules without an acceptable excuse will be fined €135.

12 October

Montpellier and Toulouse have also had their alert levels raised to maximum following rises in cases in the two southern cities.

8 October

Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne are set to go on maximum alert for coronavirus from Saturday (10 October), Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced. The news comes as Covid cases top 18,000 for a second day in France. Toulouse and Montpellier are also at risk of being moved to the maximum alert level.

5 October

From tomorrow (Tuesday 6th October) Paris is to shut all bars, gyms and swimming pools for two weeks in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus. The move comes as the city’s coronavirus alert status is raised to maximum. Chief police Didier Lallement described the new rules as “braking measures” to help curb the spread of the virus.

1 October

Take-up of France’s Covid app has been reported as poor, with just 3 million downloads in l’Hexagone compared to the UK app getting 12 million and the German app 18 million, the Guardian reports.

30 September

France has no plans for another national lockdown, the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has said.

29 September

It looks like Paris may be going the same way as Marseille in its coronavirus numbers and there is the risk it could be placed on ‘alerte maximum’ with stricter lockdown rules.

27 September

There will be no preventative lockdown ahead of Christmas to stop a surge in the virus, according to France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran.

24 September

The Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced new measures to combat coronavirus in France. The measures particularly concern the southern city of Marseille and the island of Guadeloupe, both of which have been placed in a ‘maximum alert’ zone. From Saturday, bars and restaurants in the two places will have to close. An ‘enhanced alert’ has been placed on other major cities in France where the rate of circulation is high, including Paris, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse, In these zones, bars and restaurants will have to close at 10pm and public and private gatherings must not have more than 10 people.

23 September

The French government is set to introduce new nationwide restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus in France. Health Minister Olivier Véran is set to make an announcement at 7pm French time tonight. According to French news sources, the measures could include the partial or total closure of bars, and restrictions on visits to care homes.

19 September

There are now 55 coronavirus ‘red zones’ in France. Find out which departments are classed as ‘zones rouges’ in this interactive map.

17 September

France records an increase in the number of people with coronavirus in intensive care for the 20th day running.

Meanwhile, as French students return to university, 12 coronavirus clusters have been detected in French universities this month.

15 September

New measures to combat coronavirus have been introduced in Bordeaux and Marseille, including a ban on more than 10 people gathering in public parks, along the riverbank and on beaches in Bordeaux. Other measures in Bordeaux include a ban on large gatherings over 1,000 (including concerts and sports events) and dancing in public venues is also forbidden. In Marseille, the regional government has banned student parties and there is also a 1,000-person public event limit.

9 September

France may reduce the quarantine period for people with confirmed coronavirus from 14 days to five days, The Times reports.

The country also reported yesterday its highest daily coronavirus death toll since the outbreak began.

8 September

The French government has put seven more departments on alert as Covid-19 rates increase in certain parts of the country. There are now 28 ‘red zone’ departments.

Meanwhile, Tour de France chief Christian Prudhomme has tested positive for coronavirus. However, all Tour riders have returned negative results, so the race continues.

4 September

France has recorded Europe’s highest daily increase in coronavirus cases. Furthermore, 22 schools in mainland and overseas France have been closed due to outbreaks.

2 September

France has continued to see its coronavirus cases grow. On Wednesday, just over 7,000 cases were reported in 24 hours, with 4,632 people in hospital with the illness.

28 August

In Paris and some other French cities, wearing a facemask in public is now mandatory. The rule applies to pedestrians but cyclists and joggers will be able to go without facemasks.

27 August

France’s coronavirus rate has quadrupled in a month, with a post-lockdown record of 6,111 cases reported in one day.

25 August

A naturist resort in the south of France has been hit with an outbreak of coronavirus, with 100 holidaymakers at the Cap d’Adge so far testing positive for coronavirus. It has also been reported that coronavirus in France is circulating four times as much among under-40s as it is among over-65s.

21 August

Today, France confirmed that new coronavirus cases have increased by 1,000 over the past 24 hours to reach 4,771. This is the first time more than 4,000 daily cases has been recorded since May. Mask-wearing is now mandatory in the cities of Paris, St Etienne, Nice and Toulouse. The Education Minister has ruled out postponing the new school year which starts on 1 September.

20 August

France has reported 3,776 new coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period, its biggest daily increase since 6 May. Authorities have begun tightening restrictions to curb the spread. In Toulouse, masks must be worn throughout the city from Friday 21 August, while from 1 September workers across the country will be required to wear face masks in workplaces.

18 August

The number of new Covid-19 infections in France rose above 3,000 on Sunday for the second day in a row but dropped significantly on Monday to 493. However the number of hospital admissions is still rising. France’s cumulative total of infections has now reached 219,029. Paris and Marseille have both been declared highly active ‘red zones’ and today the government is expected to propose that face masks be compulsory in shared indoor workspaces and offices as part of efforts to prevent a second wave.

14 August

The UK has imposed quarantine measures on France that will come into play at 4am Saturday. The new rules mean that anyone returning to the UK from France will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. It is estimated that there are currently around 400,000 British holidaymakers in France.

13 August

Today the UK government is expected to decide whether or not to add France to its quarantine list. Paris has suggested that it will impose a reciprocal quarantine arrangement for travellers going to France from the UK if the UK does impose quarantine.

Meanwhile, air passengers have been reminded that reusable masks are not allowed on French flights.

10 August

France is ‘days away’ from being added to the UK’s quarantine list, The Telegraph reports.

6 August

Today, France has recorded a record two-month high in coronavirus cases, with 1,695 new cases in 24 hours. In Toulouse, people will be expected to wear facemasks even in the street, and other cities are set to implement the same rule.

5 August

Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris has implemented compulsory Covid-19 testing for travellers arriving from 16 countries including the US, South Africa and Turkey.

4 August

A report suggests France could lose control of Covid-19 at any point, saying that a second lockdown was highly likely this autumn or winter.

28 July

The French Prime Minister has stated that the country could be at risk of a second lockdown if cases continue to rise.

22 July

Since Monday, masks have been compulsory in all enclosed public places in France, including shops. There have been increases in the coronavirus reproduction rate in some parts of France including Brittany and Vosges.

16 July

Spikes in coronavirus cases have been reported in Paris and in the north-western department of Mayenne. The wearing of facemasks is now compulsory in Laval, the prefecture.

14 July

President Macron is expected to make an announcement regarding the obligatory use of facemasks in enclosed public spaces in France. This could come in force by 1 August.

10 July

With the cancellation of the Eurostar ski service, a campaign has been launched to save it – find out more information here.

French health authorities are currently investigating 68 clusters of Covid-19 across the country.

6 July

The Louvre in Paris has reopened today after months of closure with strict safety measures in place.

3 July

The UK government has announced that from 10 July 2020, people arriving in England from France will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days as France has been included in the UK government’s travel corridors list.

Currently, there has been no confirmation whether people arriving in France from the UK will still need to self-isolate.

2 July

Eurostar has cancelled its routes to the South of France until 2022, meaning no direct trains from London to Marseille, Avignon or Lyon.

The UK government is yet to confirm its ‘air bridge’ offerings and continues to advise against all but essential international travel.

29 June

There is still no official confirmation of an ‘air bridge’ between the UK and France that would remove the need for quarantine, despite suggestions it would be announced today.

26 June

Anticipating a futher wave of Covid-19, French Health Minister has told Le Monde that a large-scale coronavirus testing scheme will be launched to identify at-risk areas.

25 June

Reports suggest that an air bridge between France and the UK may soon be established, meaning there would be no need for quarantine for travellers between the two nations. More information on this is expected to be announced on Monday.
Today, the Eiffel Tower reopened for the first time in three months, with stringent safety and hygiene measures in place to protect visitors.

24 June

France’s contact-tracing app has got off to a slow start, with just 68 positive Covid-19 cases logged on it in the past three weeks since its launch.

23 June

A second wave of Covid-19 in the autumn is “extremely likely”, says France’s Conseil Scientifique.

22 June

Today all pupils up to the age of 15 will be going back to school in France for the last two weeks of term, although some worried parents will continue to keep their children at home.

18 June

President Macron visits Downing Street to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s famous wartime broadcast to France on the BBC in 1940. It is expected that Macron and Prime Minister Johnson will discuss the current quarantine and the possibility of reducing or eliminating it.

16 June

Cafe culture has properly resumed in Paris since President Macron’s announcement on Sunday that the city’s restaurants could fully reopen. Until now, cafes were only able to have outside tables.

15 June

In President Macron’s speech on Sunday night, he announced yet more easing of the coronavirus restrictions in France. The greatest change will be that travel to other European countries with open borders will be allowed (although there is still a 14-day quarantine arrangement in place for travellers from the UK). Other changes include people being able to visit family in nursing homes and all schools apart from high schools reopening on 22 June. All of mainland France is in the ‘green’ zone of deconfinement, although its overseas territories of Mayotte and French Guiana are still in the ‘orange’ zone.

12 June

Despite the easing of the lockdown, coronavirus cases in France have continued to fall.

11 June

President Macron is set to address France on Sunday in his fourth televised address since the coronavirus crisis began. France is currently in Phase 2 of the lockdown until 22 June, so it is expected that the president’s address may outline what will happen in the next phase. It is also presumed that the president will discuss international travel, as France is set to reopen its borders for travel within Europe from 15 June.

10 June

The EU could reopen its borders to travellers from beyond the bloc from 1 July. Some EU countries such as Greece plan to open their borders to certain non-EU countries from 15 June.

Meanwhile, France’s contact-tracing app has topped one million downloads.

9 June

The French economy will only revert to pre-crisis levels in 2022, Reuters report. There are fears unemployment could climb to a new record of 11.8% in 2021.

8 June

Travellers arriving in France from the UK, whatever their nationality, must now undergo a 14-day voluntary quarantine. Among those exempt from the measures are truck drivers, diplomatic staff and foreign health staff helping to fight the coronavirus. Travel to France from the UK is still on a strictly necessary basis, and an attestation is still needed. For more about the quarantine, visit the Consulate General of France in London’s website.

The French death toll is now at its lowest since mid-March.

5 June

France has said that it now has the coronavirus pandemic ‘under control’.

The country awaits further information about how its borders with other European countries may be relaxed after rumours yesterday of the Franco-Spanish border reopening later this month.

4 June

The Franco-Spanish border may reopen on 22 June, reports have suggested. The Spanish tourism minister has also suggested that those travelling from France will not need to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

3 June

France’s new contact-tracing app has been downloaded 600,000 times since it became available on 2 June. Find out how the app works here.

2 June

Today, the next stage of lockdown easing measures come into force in France. This will see the reopening of cafes and restaurants in green zones, plus the lifting of the 100km travel limit. Residents will also be able to go to the gym, go to a museum or art gallery (wearing a mask), and go to the beach. Cross-border travel is still not encouraged.


A map released by the French governments splits every department in the country into red, yellow and green, depending on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak. The colours determine how the lockdown will be lifted in each area. Anyone caught without a face mask on French public transport, including buses, planes and trains, after deconfinement may receive a fine of up to €135, junior transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari tells Le Parisien.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces that most of the measures implemented to help combat the coronavirus will be cautiously lifted in France. While strict hygiene and social distancing methods will remain in place, life will return to some level of normality. Most of France has now been designated as a green zone, although Paris and its surroundings are currently orange. Among the new opening are parks and gardens in Paris, plus elsewhere in France people will be able to return to restaurants, gyms and beaches come 2 June.

From today, the French government has implemented a voluntary 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from outside the EU and certain other countries. However, the government has also stressed that even travellers from countries that belong to the EU may be asked to undergo the quarantine if they have introduced such measures in their own countries. For example, both Spain and the UK have said they will implement quarantines for new arrivals, so the French government has put in place the quarantine for arrivals from those countries as a reciprocal measure.

Exceptions to the 14-day quarantine for visitors include lorry drivers, train crew, diplomats and people with compelling family reasons such as the funeral of a close relative. An attestation is still needed for travel from abroad.

Find out more on the French government’s website.

Brits are still strongly advised against all but essential travel to France by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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