Update: You no longer need a test to enter France if you are fully vaccinated
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France has announced yet another change to its ever-evolving entry requirements for incoming travelers, although this one is actually making the process easier for travelers.
As of February 12, fully vaccinated and boosted travelers coming from the U.S. no longer need to take a COVID-19 test to enter France.
With requirements shifting so often, things can easily get confusing, so we have gathered all of the information you need below.
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Entry requirements for vaccinated travelers as of February 12
Currently, France color codes countries to determine entry requirements for travelers originating from specific places.
Fully vaccinated travelers coming from any green or orange country, including the United States, are no longer required to submit a COVID-19 upon arrival to France as of last week.
Instead, these travelers may enter France by submitting proof of vaccination, including a booster shot taken within nine months of their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Travelers who received their booster more than nine months after their second dose may still enter France as long as one week has passed since receipt of the booster.
Vaccine pass requirements as of Feb. 15
In order to obtain a “pass vaccinal” necessary to enter any public space requiring proof of vaccination, all people age 18 and older must show proof of a COVID-19 booster administered between three and four months of the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
This does not mean you need to be boosted within four months of travel, rather a booster is required if four months have elapsed since the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
Vaccine passes for this age group will expire four months after their second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two months after the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, meaning a booster is required to keep your pass active.
“The timing of your vaccine does not matter beyond the four-month booster requirement.
“To obtain the pass vaccinal, it’s showing proof of a booster that is most important,” per Atout France, the country’s official tourism organization.
Where are vaccine passes required?
The vaccine pass is required at all places where the “pass sanitaire” was once required, including bars, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, malls, athletic facilities, gyms, theaters, cinemas, public transit (air/rail), museums and other cultural sites.
Essentially, if it’s a public place, you will need to present a vaccine pass to enter.
Rules for children
Children ages 12-15 remain subject to the rules of the “pass sanitiare,” meaning people in this age group must show proof of vaccination to access most public spaces, but a booster shot is not mandatory.
“Travelers age 12-15 require a health pass everywhere a vaccine pass is required,” according to the U.S. Embassy. “Travelers under age 12 do not require a pass” of any kind.
Those 12-15 may obtain a temporary, 24-hour health pass by submitting negative results of a PCR or antigen test taken at a pharmacy in France, where rapid tests are available on a walk-in basis.
These test results only serve as a temporary pass, meaning once the 24 hours have elapsed, you must take a new test to earn a new temporary pass.
The option to test for COVID-19 in lieu of the booster only applies to children holding a health pass.
Exceptions for non-Americans
While in some cases, showing proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 can take the place of one’s initial dose of COVID-19 or a booster dose, this is only applicable if the person contracted COVID-19 and recovered from it while in the European Union.
“U.S. and other foreign certificates of recovery are not accepted,” per the embassy.
Where to receive either pass
Those vaccinated in the United States (or elsewhere outside the EU) must go to a designated pharmacy in France with their CDC-issued vaccine card, passport and money to pay a fee of up to $40 (or 36 euros).
A vaccine pass showing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (including a booster) is required for all persons in France age 18 and above, even tourists. A health pass showing full proof of COVID-19 vaccination (but not a booster) is compulsory for anyone ages 12-15. Those under 12 do not need either pass.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people may only enter the country with a “compelling reason for travel” that has been approved by the French government. Additionally, they must present results of a negative test taken within 48 hours before departure and will also be tested again upon arrival, followed by a 10-day quarantine.
If you think you can skip out on quarantine, think again — you should expect routine police check-ins at the designated quarantine location you provided to French authorities.
Featured photo of the Arc de Triomphe by Sylvain Sonnet via Getty Images.
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