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What to expect when travelling to France this year post-COVID

If you are planning a trip to France in the near future than doexpect rules and measures to be in place to keep everyone as safe as possiblewhilst they are there. We’ve put together a little FAQ to offer help and adviceshould France be on the agenda in 2021.

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Is France on the green list?

Currently France is not on the green list, instead it is deemed anamber country. Whilst there are no fines or penalties for visiting adestination on this list, it has been advised by The Department of Transportthat people “should not be travelling to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries forleisure.”

The list is due to reviewed every three weeks, so just becausesomewhere isn’t currently deemed a green country, it doesn’t mean it willremain this way.

If you are travelling to France, or any amber country, then uponyour arrival home you will have to isolate for 10 days. In addition, you willbe required to get a PCR test on days two and eight. You are still eligible touse the test-to-release system on day five, which would mean, should you have anegative result, then you no longer need to quarantine.

What are the entry requirements to get into France?

If you are arriving from the UK then you will not have to providean essential reason to enter France. This is the case for all air, car, ferryand train passengers. You will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying that youhave no coronavirus symptoms and have not been around anyone with a confirmedcase in the last two weeks. You can find this form on the Frenchgovernment’s website.

What tests do you need to travel to France?

You will need a negative PCR covid-19 test result, taken less than72 hours before departure in order to be let into France. This includeschildren aged 11 and above.

Do keep in mind that you should not be using the NHS testingservice when getting tested to go on holiday. We understand that private testscan be expensive, which is why we have teamed up with RightAngled, who provide athome Covid-19 tests and ensure you have your results within 24 hours of thetest arriving at the lab. Just visit their site and purchase the test with discountcode ‘TIFCOVID15’ to save 15%.

Do I need to self-isolate when I get toFrance?

When you arrive in France from the UK, you will be required toself-isolate for seven days upon your arrival, before taking another PCR test.In order to no longer isolate, this test must come back as negative. Find more information on how to get a PCR test in France.

For this reason, France may not be the best destination visit atthe moment, unless you are visiting France for an extended period of time.

Will any shops or restaurants be open at the airport?

Depending on which UK airport you’re departing from, differentshops and restaurants will be open. According to both Heathrow and Gatwick’swebsites, limited shops are open and food is available for takeaway only,however given the change in rules and that we now allowed to eat inside as ofthe 17th May, this may have changed. Our advice is to keep checkingthe website to see if they update their information

Some shops and eateries are open in French airports, for exampleParis-Charles de Gaulle Airport has a range of designer stores, pharmacies andcoffee shops open for passengers. This being said, its best just to check thewebsite of the airports you are departing and arriving at for a full list ofwhat is and isn’t available.

What measures are in place at the airport?

You are required to wear a mask at all times whilst in theairport, unless you have a respiratory condition.

On departure and arrival, airlines have set up temperature-takingsystems and if you’re above 38°C you may be boarding denied.

When you arrive in France, depending on theairport, thermal cameras may be used to take your temperature in the baggagedelivery room. If your temperature is high, you will be offered medicaltreatment and if a doctor feels it is necessary, then you may be asked to carryout a PCR test.

Do I need to wear a mask on the plane?

Unless you have a respiratory condition, then yes you must wear amask at all times whilst you are on the plane. Surgical masks are the onlymasks allowed on the plane. If you do forget to bring out, you’re sure to findsome in the terminal that you can purchase.

What is the current covid-19 situation in France?

The health situation in France is currently deemed as severe. The daily numbers are still considerably high, and the FCDO has advised against all but essential travel to the whole of France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Is there a curfew in France for visitors?

There is a nationalcurfew in place from 9pm to 6am, during which time you would be an attestation(self-certified document) in order to leave your accommodation.

Are restaurants and bars open?

After a six-month shutdown, France has now reopened itsrestaurants for outdoor dining only. Bear in mind, there is a 9pm curfew, sobooking in advance is advised to avoid disappointment.

While barsand restaurants are open to the public, they are not allowed to exceed morethan 50% of their usual capacity. 

Indoor service is expected to resumeat half-capacity on the 9th June.

Are shops open in France?

Non-essential shops including shopping centres are now open inFrance, with an eight square metre rule applying per visitor.

Covered markets must also provide 8 square metres ofspace for each shopper while open-air markets must provide 4 squaremetres.

Limits on the number of customers inside shops are setto be lifted entirely on the 30th June.

Are attractions open in France?

Cinemas,theatres, museums and sports venues are now open again to visitors. However,they will have to stick to 35% capacity and a maximum of 800 people indoors and1000 outdoors. So again, make sure you book where you can in advance.

Do I have to wear a mask at all times in France?

Masks are compulsory in all indoor spaces in France, and in manytowns and cities from August 2020 it became mandatory to wear them outsidealso.

It remains a requirement inmost larger cities and towns a and breaking the rules could get you a €135fine.

This being said, some placesin France are beginning to loosen the requirements on wearing a mask outdoors.A prefectoral decree active in Reims, Tinqueux, Cormontreuil and Betheny endedon May 3rd. The Alpes-Maritimes département, which includes Nice, relaxed therule to wear masks on the beach, along the coast and green spaces on May 4th.

France currently is not the most ideal place to go on holiday, howeverin the coming months this could change. Given that the FCDO has advised againsttravel for leisure, this could affect your travel insurance and whether or notyou are covered.

There are countries on the green list that are safer and ideal forthose who are after a holiday. To see the list, click here.

At Holidaysafe, we offer enhanced coronavirus cover, providing youwith additional protection including cancellation cover if you test positivefor covid-19 before you travel and cover should your airline go intoadministration because of the pandemic. To find out more and see the full listof covid-19 cover available, then clickhere.

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Information correct at the time of writing and publishing thisarticle 20th May 2021.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.