Here’s how to travel to France right now

Mar 18, 2022

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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.

In This Post

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.

“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 photo of Nice, France, by ICHAUVEL/Getty Images.

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