International travel restrictions are now constantly in flux thanks to the ongoing spread of COVID19 around the coronavirus pandemic. But while many countries are still upholding almost complete travel bans, coronavirus entry restrictions in the EU and France have been eased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.
The following coronavirus travel advice to visit EU countries, including France, is up-to.date at the time of writing, but as entry restrictions for some nationalities are changing daily, we recommend checking for any updates as the situation continues to develop.
Coronavirus travel restrictions for the European Union
There is little doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world, especially the ease with which we can travel. However, coronavirus travel restrictions have started to ease for some destinations, and this includes many countries in the EU.
Residents and citizens of European Union countries and the Schengen Area (including the UK) are now generally free to move between member states without restrictions, and most EU members are now also allowing entry to nationals of the following countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- New Zealand
All travellers from a third country who do not have residency or citizenship in an EU state or the Schengen Area must have a valid justification to gain entry to the region. However, each individual member of the European Union has also set its own additional restrictions, including France.
Travelling to France during COVID-19
Whether or not a foreign citizen can currently enter France depends on the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained in their country of departure. Travellers from the following countries are currently able to enter France without requiring any COVID-19 related documents do not face any restrictions:
- All European Union member states
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- The UK
- Vatican City
Arrivals from other countries currently face a travel ban for France, with the exception of the following passengers:
- French nationals and any accompanying spouse and children
- Official passport holders
- Citizens (and their spouse and children) of the EU or nationals of Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or Vatican City whose main residence is France, or who are transiting through France to their country of residence or nationality
- Those holding a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa whose main residence is in France, or who are in transit through France to their country of residence
- Travellers in possession of If you have a “Talent Passport” or “ICT posted worker” long-stay visa, as well as their spouse and children
- Passengers in transit through a French Airport for under 24 hours
- Passenger or cargo flight crew
- Passenger coach or train driver or crew member
- Crew or personnel operating a merchant or fishing vessel
- Those carrying out international goods transport
- Foreign health professionals and trainees helping to fight Covid-19 in France
- Diplomatic or consular mission staff or staff of an international organisation with a branch in France
- Foreigners traveling to France to receive medical treatment in either a private or public hospital.
Additionally, international students with a study visa for France who are coming from a visa exempt country to study for less than 90 days, as well as foreign minors attending school in
France, are also now permitted entry, providing they have evidence of accommodation arrangements in the country.
Professors or researchers travelling to France for study and teaching purposes may also enter the country, on the condition they are employed or invited by a French higher education establishment or research laboratory.
However, entry for these travellers listed above is conditional: they must first present some Covid-19 related documentation upon arrival at French borders.
Documents currently required to enter France
Those with exemptions listed above must have both a sworn declaration that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms and an exempted international movement certificate to gain entry to France.
The latter document must be presented to both the travel operator before boarding transportation to France and to border control authorities upon arrival. These documents must be downloaded from the French Ministry of the Interior’s website and completed before departure.
Some arrivals over 11 years of age will also be subject to a Covid-19 test prior to boarding their transport or upon arrival, depending on their point of departure.
Arrivals from Bahrain, Panama, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America are also required to present a negative PCR test result, taken less than 72 hours before departure in order to board transportation to France.
Passengers from the following countries are able to either present a test result or take a test upon arrival at French airports:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Palestinian Territories
Travellers from other countries who do not take a PCR test before departure or upon arrival will be asked to undergo a 7 day self-isolation period in their place of residence or at other suitable accommodation.
These measures may remain in place until a coronavirus vaccine is widely available.
Coronavirus safety measures for France
Like most other members of the EU, France has introduced safety protocols to detain the spread of Covid 19 and keep citizens and visitors to the country alike safe from infection.
This includes obligatory use of face masks in all enclosed public spaces such as in public transportation, shops, museums, and airports, as well as social distancing measures. including maintaining at least one metre distance from other people and avoiding sharing hugs and kisses.
Additionally, France has now introduced a 9 pm curfew for 9 cities, including Paris, Lyon, and Marseilles, after which meetups are banned and bars and restaurants must close.
This daily curfew will remain in place until 6 am the following morning. The curfew will affect approximately 20 million people across the country and is expected to last until mid-November at the earliest.