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 29 October, 2020

Who can travel to France?

Travel to Metropolitan France is allowed without restrictions for arrivals from countries in the European Area, UK, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican, as well as the following third countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Anyone who arrives in France by sea and air must complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) certifying they have no symptoms associated with COVID-19 and have not been in contact with a confirmed case in the previous 14 days.

Travel from countries not listed remains restricted. For the latest information, check Re-open EU.

Requirements for entry

From 1 August, travelers from countries where COVID-19 is actively circulating (check for the latest list on the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs) must bring several documents:

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, which has been taken less than 72 hours (3 days) before departure. Anyone arriving without a medical certificate will be asked to respect a voluntary fortnight and the precautionary measures outlined on the flyer handed to you on arrival, or use health checkpoints at the airport to take a test immediately
  • An exceptional travel to mainland France certificate from third countries, as well as any required documents to justify the reason for your trip
  • A certificate stating the traveler does not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Travel within France

France is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19. From Friday 30 October, a new eight-week nationwide locdown will be in place until 1 December.

A document is required for people to leave home, and movement between regions of France is no longer allowed. People are only allowed to leave home to buy essential items, seek medical help, or for their one-hour daily exercise.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in closed public places, and travelers must follow the rules and guidelines for each department.

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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