France Travel Alerts and Warnings

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

How are coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions affecting travel to France? Read about border closures and pre-departure testing requirements for entry to France.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in France – updated 13 September 2021

Who can travel to France?

As of 12 September, the United States has been moved to the "orange" list. Travelers coming from the United States who are not fully vaccinated can visit only for essential reasons and will need to present a negative COVID-19 test – either a PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure or an antigen (rapid) test conducted within the 48 hours prior to departure. They also must isolate for seven days upon arrival.

Fully vaccinated travelers coming from the United States (as well as minor children under 17 accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian) will still be able to enter France with proof of vaccination and a sworn statement they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. More information here.

French authorities have been accepting the CDC card as acceptable evidence of vaccination for entry into France, but it is not accepted as a French health pass required for domestic travel within France. Here's how to get a Health Pass.

Since 9 June 2021, the flow of travelers between France and foreign countries has been reopened according to modalities that vary depending on the health situation of third countries and the vaccination status of travelers. There are three categories of measures: green, orange, and red. You should regularly check the status of the country you are travelling to or from on the French government’s website.

The vaccines accepted by France are those recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca / Vaxzevria / Covishield and Johnson & Johnson. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the completion of a vaccination schedule, specifically:

  • 7 days after the 2nd injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca / Vaxzevria / Covishield);
  • 4 weeks after injection for vaccines with a single injection (Johnson & Johnson);
  • 7 days after the injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid-19 (only 1 injection necessary).

Orange list countries:

If you are fully vaccinated, entry into France is not subject to any restriction. Travelers only need to present proof of vaccination status and a sworn statement attesting to the absence of symptoms of COVID-19 infection and contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If you are not vaccinated, you must produce a compelling reason to enter. You must present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours before departure. If you are from the UK and are not vaccinated, you must provide a PCR or antigen test taken within 24 hours. The departure of the first flight is taken into account in the event of a connecting trip. Children under the age of twelve are exempt from testing.

You must also present:

  • a sworn statement attesting to the absence of symptoms of COVID-19 infection and contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • a sworn agreement to undergo an antigen test on arrival in mainland France;
  • a pledge on honor to self-isolate for seven days and a pledge on honor to undergo a virological screening biological examination (PCR) at the end of the isolation period.

Green list countries:

Entry into France from a country or territory in the green zone is not subject to any restriction.

If you are vaccinated, you must present proof of vaccination status and a sworn statement attesting to the absence of symptoms of COVID-19 infection and contact with a confirmed case of covid-19.

If you are not vaccinated, you must present a certificate of recovery older than eleven days and less than six months, or a negative PCR or antigen test not older than 72 hours before departure (departure of the first flight in the event of a connecting trip). Some countries in the European area have been placed under surveillance. For unvaccinated travelers from Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands and Portugal, a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 24 hours is required.

Red list countries:

As of 18 July, fully vaccinated travelers only need proof of vaccination and no longer require a negative COVID test or compelling reason to enter France, nor are subject to a mandatory quarantine. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers are restricted to certain categories of travelers who must show a compelling reason for travel. These travelers must present a negative COVID test (PCR or antigen) performed within the 48 hours before departure, and must quarantine for ten days after arrival (this quarantine will be enforced by police checks at the quarantine location).

Travel within France

From 21 July, people attending events and cultural spaces with over 50 people will be asked to demonstrate their COVID-19 status through the “pass sanitaire” (Health Pass). This can be acquired by fulfilling one of the following three criteria:

  • Vaccination certificate, illustrating that you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medical Authority.
  • Negative PCR or antigen test result from the last 48 hours.
  • A document (dated more than 11 days ago and less than six months ago) proving you have recently recovered from COVID.

From 1 August, you will need this to access a range of leisure facilities (bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas), hospitals, retirement homes and modes of transport such as long distance train and bus journeys and planes. Here's how non-French travelers who are vaccinated can obtain a Health pass.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Strikes in France – February 2020

Strikes are continuing across France. Since mid-January, transport services have been running as normal and unions have been concentrating on smaller protests.

Stay up to date with local news and contact your travel provider to find out if this affects your itinerary.

Protests in France – December 2019

Hundreds of flights have been canceled and other transport will be disrupted in France during a three-day strike, which started on 5 December, 2019.

The strikes will affect air travel, trains, the Paris Metro and ferry services. Staff have walked out in protest at the Eiffel Tower, which has also been closed.

If you are traveling around France during this time, stay away from political protests or demonstrations, avoid large crowds that may turn violent unexpectedly, and be prepared for disruptions to your schedule. Contact your travel provider to find out how this may affect you.

Notre Dame Cathedral fire – April 2019

A fire broke out in Paris' famous Notre Dame Cathedral in the early evening on Monday 15 April, destroying the spire, the roof and a significant portion of the cathedral. Authorities have placed an exclusion zone around the cathedral for safety reasons. 400 firefighters attended the scene and many have continued to stay on site to extinguish the fire in hope of saving the remaining structure and art pieces. The cause of the fire is unknown. No fatalities have been reported and only one injury has been reported.

The UNESCO World Heritage 12th century cathedral is one of Paris' most famous attractions, with more than 13 million people visiting each year.

Smoke and flames rise from Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019 in Paris, France. Photo credit: GettyImages-Veronique de Viguerie / Stringer

Strasbourg shooting - December 2018

UPDATE: The terror suspect was killed on Thursday night (13 Dec) by local authorities during a major security operation.

At least three people have been killed and 11 injured when a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon at a night Christmas market in Strasbourg in northeastern France on Tuesday 11 December.

Police and other local authorities have locked down the incident area and surrounds. The French Government has raised its security alert to the highest level and further strengthened its borders. As a result, there may be delays for travelers so please take this into account and leave enough time to get to where you are heading.

What to do during a terror incident

World Nomads is urging travelers to retain perspective on terror events, and understand that the chance of being a victim still extremely small. In fact, you are statistically four times more likely to be hit by lightning.

Don't confuse the possibility of a terror attack with the probability of being involved in one.

Remember there are psychological reasons why you may feel uncertain about travel; we're more afraid of events that are gruesome, unpredictable and unfamiliar. We feel less fear about everyday dangers such as heart attack, auto accidents or skin cancer - all of which are much more likely to kill you.

However, there are actions you can take to further lessen the likelihood you will become a victim. These include carefully considering the security around large-scale, easily accessible, public events. If at all possible get yourself inside a secure area at any event. This may mean a ticketed event, or a secure area set up by organizers. Inside such an area, like being behind the security checkpoint at an airport, is the safest option.

Alternatively, if you stay in a publicly accessible area, stay away from the heaviest concentration of crowds, keep to the fringes where the sheer number of people presents less of a target and there is the option of making a quick escape if trouble should occur.

For more information on what you should do should you find yourself caught up in a terror-related incident:

How to survive a terror-related incident - tips for the traveler

Paris protests - December 2018

Another weekend of protests has been announced for 8 December, 2018 despite the French President Emmanuel Macron announcing the cancellation of the fuel tax hike, with authorities reporting that main tourist attractions will be closed over the weekend. First division football games and two music festivals have been canceled in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe remains closed after being damaged in last weekend's protests. ~89,000 police will be deployed across the country. The following Paris venues will be closed:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre museum
  • Orsay museums
  • Grand Palais complex
  • Garnier Opera House
  • Bastille Opera House
  • Restaurants, cafes and shops on the Champs Elysees have also been encouraged to close.

Protests – 1 December 2018

Protests have turned violent in Paris since demonstrations started across France two weeks ago in response to the French Government increasing a tax on fuel prices. On December 1, thousands rioted in Paris streets and in tourist areas including the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Rue Royale; damaging the Arc itself and other infrastructure, setting vehicles alight and vandalizing buildings. Protests were also held in other locations around France including Marseilles, Arles, Narbonne, Bordeaux and Toulouse. Future protests could occur.

It's reported to be the worst civil unrest in a decade with more than 400 people arrested and more than 130 people injured during the violent clashes. Authorities used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors. There is still a heavy police and riot squad presence in Paris after the weekend's events.

Riot police hold their line during protests in Paris on December 1st. Photo credit: GettyImages-contributor

What to do during a protest

Being caught up in a protest can be a frightening experience for any traveler. But there are things you can do to stay safe. Check out our article on civil unrest which has advice on what to do pre-trip, during travel and post-civil unrest.

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.

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