How will the French be able to travel abroad this summer, after more than a year of pandemic? What restrictions will foreign tourists arriving in France subject to? A few days before the new phase of deconfinement, the government unveiled its strategy for reopening the borders, which will come into force at the same time as the health pass: on June 9.
The countries have been divided into three zones – green, orange or red – themselves defined on the basis of the health indicators of each State. The terms of travel from or to abroad differ according to these classification colors. “The lists of countries are likely to be adapted according to the evolutions of their epidemic situation”, specifies the government.
States in which the virus is not actively circulating and where the variants of concern have not been massively identified are classified as green. As of June 2, these are the European area, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore.
From these states considered “safe”, passengers arriving in France will no longer need to have a negative PCR or antigen test result of less than 72 hours if they are fully vaccinated. They will need to have received one of the products authorized by the European Medicines Agency, namely – to date – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen.
Please note, proof of vaccination is only valid on the condition that it makes it possible to certify the completion of a complete vaccination schedule, i.e.: two weeks after the 2nd injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca); four weeks after injection for vaccines with a single injection (Janssen); two weeks after the injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid-19 (only 1 injection required).
To travelers wishing to join a green country, France will not ask for a compelling reason. Travel in the European area will even be made easier from July 1 with the health pass. The device will indeed be “recognized (…) in the form of a European certificate”, recalls the government. “The certificate may include proof of vaccination, a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid less than six months old. “
It is nevertheless advisable to inquire about the measures in force in the country of destination, even if it is a member of the EU. Greece, for example, like Italy or Spain, requires tourists to complete a location form before departure. In addition, a random screening may be requested upon the arrival of travelers on Greek territory, “whatever their nationality, their origin and their route of entry”.
Also, a country classified as green does not mean that it accepts tourists. This is the case for Japan, which only issues visas to the French for rare situations, or Australia, whose borders remain closed until further notice.
In countries classified as orange, the virus is circulating actively, in controlled proportions and without the dissemination of worrying variants. The majority of states join this zone. Among them, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Russia, China and most of the African countries.
To reach an orange country from France, only vaccinated people will not need to justify their trip with a compelling reason. The rules for entering the country of destination then differ from state to state. The traveler can check them directly on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (advice by country).
Passengers returning to France from an orange country, a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours, or an antigenic test of less than 48 hours, will be required if the traveler is vaccinated. If he is not vaccinated, he will need a compelling reason and a negative test to board. On arrival, he may also be subjected to a random antigen test and he will have to place himself in self-isolation for seven days.
Countries where virus circulation is active, with the presence of worrying variants are classified as red. That is to say: South Africa, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey and Uruguay.
A compelling reason will remain necessary to reach these States from France, whether one is vaccinated or not. It is then up to the traveler to find out about the rules imposed by the host country concerning the proof of immunity requested before boarding.
For a return to France, a compelling reason is again requested from all travelers without distinction. PCR or antigen tests of less than 48 hours will be required on boarding and an antigen test will be carried out on arrival on French territory. A seven-day self-isolation will be imposed on those vaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers (or not completely) will have to respect a mandatory ten-day quarantine controlled by the security forces.
Simplification for overseas
Fully vaccinated people “will be exempt from self-isolation in both directions from June 9”, for trips between France and Reunion or Mayotte, as for connections between the two territories, according to a joint press release from Ministries of Overseas and Transport. The government had already announced that on the same date, travelers to and from these destinations would be exempted from justifying an overriding reason. A negative PCR test less than 72 hours before departure will nevertheless continue to be required.
Between Guyana and France, travelers benefiting from a complete vaccination schedule will no longer be subject to a mandatory ten-day quarantine on their arrival in France. They must nevertheless respect a seven-day self-isolation in both directions.