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France drops all COVID-19 restrictions for international travelers

Aug. 02, 2022
4 min read
France drops all COVID-19 restrictions for international travelers
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France has abolished all COVID-19-related travel restrictions on entering the country, opening the gates to Francophiles after an especially tumultuous pandemic.

As of Aug. 1, international travelers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus when crossing France's border.

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However, the French government did warn that it could pull an “emergency brake” on the measures if a new variant of concern appears in the next six months that is “likely to constitute a serious health threat.”

“Faced with the new phase of the pandemic, the border health control system is lifted, in accordance with the law putting an end to the exceptional regimes created to fight against the epidemic linked to COVID-19,” the Ministry of the Interior in Paris said in a statement.

Related: British Airways extends its short-haul ticket freeze from Heathrow

“The government retains until 21 January 2023 the possibility of activating ‘emergency brake’ measures for a maximum period of two months, after consulting the high authority for health in the event of an appearance and circulation of a new variant of COVID-19 likely to constitute a serious health threat or, in overseas territories, in the event of a risk of saturation of the health system.”

hot air balloons over vineyards
(Photo by Getty Images)

Related: Airport meltdowns: Tips if you’re headed to Europe this summer

Amid concerns over COVID-19 cases on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, France was put on Britain’s “Amber Plus” list in July 2021, which meant even fully vaccinated travelers from France had to self-isolate upon returning to the United Kingdom.

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Then, just before Christmas 2021, the French government imposed a four-week ban on travelers due to fears over the emerging omicron variant.

While that was lifted in January, certain restrictions have remained in place. Anyone entering France has had to provide proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery from the virus or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Related: Here’s how to travel to France right now and what it’s like once you arrive

Experts say lifting these rules could help solve the border issues seen at English Channel crossings in recent weeks. Those issues saw traffic jams reaching such unprecedented levels that authorities at Dover declared a “critical incident” before asking vacationers not to travel.

Eurostar train at station platform
(Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

“The timing will help to speed up entry for millions of UK tourists heading to France, and should mean faster checking by French passport officials at our ferry ports and on arrival at French airports,” Paul Charles, chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency, told The Independent.

The British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has confirmed the new measures and updated its travel advice:

"From 1 August 2022, all COVID-19 travel restrictions for travellers to France have been lifted,” the FCDO said, adding that the rules that previously applied to travelers heading to France no longer apply:

  • You are no longer required to present proof of vaccination.
  • You are no longer required to fill out any forms prior to your arrival in France, such as a justification for travel or a sworn statement.
  • You are no longer required to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test upon arrival in France.

Both Eurostar and Air France continue to advise passengers to wear face masks, however, for the duration of travel.

“For everyone’s comfort, we recommend wearing a mask on board our trains,” states the Eurostar website.

Featured image by Featured image by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty.
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