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Here's how to travel to France right now

March 18, 2022
5 min read
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In welcome news, things have seemingly gone according to plan when it comes to the lifting of nearly all remaining COVID-19-related restrictions in France earlier this week.

Although the French "vaccine pass" is no longer required to do anything in France as of Monday, readers still have some questions about what is required to enter France at the moment.

Vaccine proof is not required — with 1 exception

End of the vaccine pass

As of March 14, the previously required French vaccine pass is no longer necessary for travelers or locals to do anything on the ground in France. This includes eating at restaurants and cafes, visiting museums and other cultural sites, watching a movie at a cinema (remember those days), etc.

However, the one exception to this rule is for people entering a medical establishment (for obvious reasons).

"If someone is visiting a medical establishment such as a hospital or nursing home, they will still need to show proof of vaccination," according to a spokesperson for Atout France, the country's tourism organization, who noted that this requirement would be waived for "emergency" circumstances.

Note that the proof of vaccination required at medical establishments is now known as the "sanitary pass," which can be obtained one of three ways:

  • Negative results of a PCR or antigen test taken within the preceding 72 hours.
  • Proof of full vaccination.
  • Certificate showing recovery from COVID-19.

More information on the sanitary pass is provided by the French government here.

A pigeon flies by a blooming magnolia tree at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on March 16. (Photo by Gao Jing/Xinhua/Getty Images)

Public transit

Masks are still required, nothing else

The vaccine pass removal applies to public transit as well. This means train travelers on public transit as a whole, whether it be the Metro in Paris or regional transit options such as Eurostar, are allowed to use said transit within France, regardless of vaccination status.

There are two caveats with this point though, the first being that face masks remain required onboard.

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"Masks are still required on public transport but all other mask obligations have been lifted," as confirmed by Atout France.

That said, if you're an unvaccinated passenger taking the aforementioned Eurostar out of France, you'll need to verify whether proof of vaccination is required at your end destination.

A Eurostar train stands at the platform at Gare du Nord in Paris on Jan. 22, 2021. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

The US is now a 'green' country

Unvaccinated travelers must still take a test

A second consideration for unvaccinated travelers to France is that these travelers, age 12 and older, still need to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid test administered within 48 hours of entering France.

Other than that, unvaccinated travelers to France do not need to attest to a lack of COVID-19 symptoms or have a “compelling reason” to enter mainland France.

Entry requirements are based on color country designations by the French government, which currently indicates the U.S. is a "green" country. Rules by country are outlined by the French Interior Ministry here.

(Screenshot from interieur.gouv.fr)

Johnson & Johnson vaccine nuances

Single-dose vaccine booster options

Per the rules for green countries, travelers age 18 and older must meet certain considerations to be considered "fully vaccinated," specifically:

  • Two doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, specifically Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, plus a booster shot received within nine months of the second shot.
  • One shot plus a booster received within nine months of the first shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Several TPG readers vaccinated with the single-dose J&J vaccine have emailed me asking how to comply with the French booster requirement for this vaccine specifically.

In this case, the U.S. Embassy in France advises these travelers to follow the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises travelers to obtain a Pfizer or Moderna booster in "most situations."

(Screenshot from cdc.gov)

Travelers under 18

There's an exception for J&J vaccinated travelers who are under age 18, though.

"Full vaccination is two shots of an mRNA or one shot of J&J, no booster needed," per Atout France. For example, travelers ages 0-17 vaccinated with the J&J vaccine do not need to be boosted to enter France.

(Photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images)

Have a question for next week? Email me at caroline.tanner@thepointsguy.com or tips@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Intro Offer
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023