France opens up to vaccinated tourists from the UK and US

PUBLISHED: 10:50 08 June 2021 | UPDATED: 10:24 21 June 2021

Colourful town of Menton on the French Riviera (c) Xantana/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Colourful town of Menton on the French Riviera (c) Xantana/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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British and American travellers who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus will be able to travel to France this summer

France has announced it is reopening to international tourism by unveiling its own traffic light system for travel.

In a boost for British holidaymakers hoping to visit the country soon, President Emmanuel Macron announced that fully vaccinated Britons will be allowed to visit from 9 June without the need to quarantine on arrival.

In addition to being vaccinated – receiving their second dose at least 14 days before they travel – UK visitors must also provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test but will no longer need a ‘compelling reason’ to travel. France is accepting the NHS app or an NHS letter as proof of vaccination status.

Those who have not yet received both doses will still need to provide a compelling reason to travel, which are limited to having a permanent residence in France, being enrolled at a higher education establishment in France or working in the transport or healthcare industries, among others. They must present an International Travel Certificate to confirm their essential reason for travel and a déclaration sur l’honneur form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus. They must also self-isolate for seven days on arrival and provide proof of a negative coronavirus test.

France also remains on England’s amber list meaning there is still a requirement to take a COVID-19 test before you travel back from France and quarantine on arrival in the UK for 10 days, as well as booking and paying for ‘day two’ and ‘day eight’ COVID-19 travel tests. The official UK government advice is still not to travel to amber list countries.

Pretty Joinville in Haute-Marne (c) guy-ozenne/Getty Images/iStockphotoPretty Joinville in Haute-Marne (c) guy-ozenne/Getty Images/iStockphoto

France has announced its own highly anticipated traffic light system for international travel, with all EU countries on its green list, as well as Australia and New Zealand, which permits travel from those countries without any restrictions, except for non-vaccinated travellers who will still need to take a PCR or antigen test.

On 17 June, America and Canada were also added to France’s green list meaning even travellers who have not been vaccinated can now enter the country without an ‘essential reason’. As with visitors from the UK, arrivals in France from America will need to present a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours and those who have been vaccinated will need to provide proof of vaccination.

Britain remains on the French amber list which means fully vaccinated travellers, as well as those aged 11 and under who have not been vaccinated, can travel to France but will still need to present a déclaration sur l’honneur form self-certifying they have not been in contact with confirmed cases of coronavirus in the preceding fortnight, along with a negative PCR or antigen test.

All airline passengers travelling back to the US must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of travel. When home, travellers should also take a test three to five days after arrival. The US government still advises against travelling to France because of a high level of COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases have been rising in south-west France with cases of the Delta variant, formerly referred to as the Indian variant, reported in clusters in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. However daily case numbers are falling in the rest of the country. From 31 May, everyone in France aged 18 and over has been eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. The government will also start vaccinating those aged 12 and above from 15 June.

As part of the third stage of its lockdown exit plan, from 9 June bars, restaurants and cafés in France will be allowed to open again for indoor dining, gyms will reopen and the curfew will be pushed back from 9pm to 11pm. You can currently meet other people in small groups of less than six adults and there are no restrictions on travel inside France. The curfew and most restrictions on gatherings are set to be lifted on 30 June.

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