Coronavirus COVID-19: the situation in France

Consult French government recommendations to learn more about travel and health measures in place.



For recommendations updated in real time concerning measures taken within French territory, consult the Government / Coronavirus info site. (External link)

Measures in place in France

Since 9 August 2021, a health pass (External link) has been compulsory for access to certain places, venues or events (indoors or outdoors, regardless of capacity) such as theatres, amusement parks, concert halls, festivals, cinemas, museums, cafés, restaurants, hospitals, care homes and nursing homes, medical and social establishments (except in emergencies).

The pass also applies to long-distance travel by inter-regional public transport (air, rail and bus).

Every person aged 12 years and two months and over must therefore present one of the following three health 'proofs':

  • Full vaccination (plus the necessary time after the final dose);
  • A negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 24 hours old;
  • A positive PCR or lateral flow test result demonstrating recovery of Covid-19 that is at least 11 days old and less than 6 months old.

Since 15 December 2021, people aged 65 and over and people vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine have been required to show proof of a booster vaccination for their health pass to be extended.

From 15 January 2022, all people aged 18 years and over must have received a booster dose in time to keep their vaccination certificate active in the health pass (External link) . After these deadlines, their old vaccination certificate is considered expired and is no longer valid.

Events and hospitality:

For three weeks from 3 January 2021:

  • Limits are reinstated for large events: 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors.
  • Standing concerts are prohibited.
  • In cafés and bars, standing consumption is prohibited.

Until 24 January inclusive, nightclubs will remain closed. This ban applies until the same date to dancing in public establishments such as restaurants or bars.

Please consult the French government website (External link) for more information on the measures in place.


Other measures and restrictions

Already compulsory indoors in all public establishments, masks are also now required in certain city centres (from 3 January 2022).

A fine of €135 will be charged in the event of non-compliance with wearing a mask in the places concerned, up to €3,750 in the event of a repeat offence.

Wearing a mask is compulsory on public transport. Travellers should ensure that the greatest possible distance is maintained between passengers or groups of passengers not travelling together. More information is available on the SNCF (External link) and RATP (External link) websites.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in taxis and rideshares.

Gatherings, meetings or activities on public roads bringing together more than 10 people simultaneously are prohibited.

The consumption of alcohol on public roads is prohibited.

Consult Covid-19 FAQs on the French government website here (External link) .


Travelling to Corsica

Since 10 December 2021, people aged 12 and over wishing to travel from the mainland to Corsica or vice versa have been required to produce:

  • a sworn statement of no symptoms (External link)

  • a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 or, for unvaccinated persons, a negative result of a PCR or lateral flow test taken less than 24 hours before travel, or a certificate of immunity for persons who have already contracted Covid. The latter consists of a positive PCR or lateral flow test result performed more than 11 days and less than six months before travel.

These documents (paper or digital version via the TousAntiCovid app) must be presented to the transport company upon boarding. Transport companies will deny boarding to passengers without the required documents.

Random checks will also be carried out by the police on arrival in Corsica.

Screening locations are available at https://www.sante.fr (External link) .


Travelling to French overseas territories and departments

Since 28 December 2021, a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 24 hours old has been required for all travellers.
The compelling reasons regime depends on the local situation.

These measures have been taken to slow the spread of the virus:

  • For Martinique: A curfew is in force from 8pm to 5am until further notice.
  • For Réunion: A curfew is in force from 9pm to 5am until 23 January 2022.

Since 27 November 2021, anyone wishing to travel from Mayotte or Réunion to the rest of the country has required a negative screening test result or examination carried out less than 48 hours before travel.

For flights in the French overseas territories: in view of the local health situation, the prefect may impose compelling reasons for departure from and arrival in the territories. Proofs are then checked by the airlines or the Border Police.

For international flights: There are restrictions decided locally by the representative of the State or the competent authority.

The Ministry of Overseas Territories encourages people wishing to travel to an overseas territory to find out in advance about the restrictions in place on the website of the prefecture or the high commission.

International travel

Since 4 December 2021, any person aged 12 and over entering French territory has been required to present a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 24 or 48 hours old, depending on the country of origin. The only exception is for people with a complete vaccination schedule who do not have to present a test when they arrive from an EU Member State, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See or Switzerland.

In addition, in response to the spread of the Omicron variant, the classification of countries based on health indicators has evolved, with the addition of a 'scarlet' country classification.

The country lists can be found on the government website (External link) .

'Green' countries: no active circulation of the virus, no variants of concern identified. EU Member States plus Australia, Argentina, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
Vaccinated travellers (12 years and older) must present a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 48 hours old (except for arrivals from an EU Member State, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See or Switzerland).
Unvaccinated travellers (12 years and older) must present a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 48 hours old (<24 hours for arrivals from an EU Member State, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See or Switzerland).
Random tests may be carried out on arrival at the point of entry.

'Amber' countries: active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, but without the spread of variants of concern. All countries, except 'green' and 'red' countries.
Vaccinated travellers from these countries must provide proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 48 hours old.
Unvaccinated travellers must have a compelling reason and a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 48 hours old before departure (less than 24 hours old for the UK).
Children under 12 years of age are exempt from testing. Random tests may be carried out on arrival at the point of entry. Travellers will be required to carry out a seven-day self-isolation.

'Red' countries: active virus circulation and variants of concern. Afghanistan, Belarus, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Vaccinated travellers from these countries must show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours. Random tests may be carried out upon arrival at the point of entry.
Non-vaccinated travellers must show a compelling reason for travel and a negative PCR or lateral flow test result less than 48 hours old before departure. They will also need to take a lateral flow test on arrival and undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine monitored by the authorities.

'Scarlet' countries: particularly active circulation of the virus and/or discovery of a variant that may present a risk of increased transmissibility or immune escape. As of 6 January 2022, there are no countries classified as 'scarlet'.
All travellers from 'scarlet' countries, whether or not they have been vaccinated, must have a compelling reason and a negative PCR or lateral flow test that result less than 24 hours old. They will also need to take a lateral flow test on arrival and undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine monitored by the authorities.


Travellers to and from the UK:

From 14 January 2022, the rules for travel between the UK and France are as follows:

  • all travellers, whether vaccinated or not, will have to present a negative test result (PCR or lateral flow) less than 24 hours old before departure;
  • for vaccinated travellers, a compelling reason for coming to France is no longer required, nor an obligation to self-isolate on arrival. As such, there is now no need to register online prior to travel. Please note that random screening may be carried out on arrival;
  • for unvaccinated travellers, travel to and from the UK will be permitted subject to a compelling reason as for 'red' countries.

Unvaccinated travellers from the UK are required to continue to register on the digital platform "éOS passager" (External link) before departure, allowing them to enter the address of their stay in France. On arrival in France, they will be required to observe a strict 10-day self-isolation at that location, which will be monitored by law enforcement.

Travellers from EU countries:

For travel within the European Union, a compelling reason is not currently needed, but pre-testing requirements may be necessary.

The health pass is recognised for travel within the EU, in the form of a European certificate.

The EU digital Covid certificate may include proof of vaccination, a negative test result or proof of Covid reinstatement less than six months old. In addition, States will be able to establish additional health measures if they are necessary and proportionate (e.g. testing, quarantine, etc.).

In order to facilitate the stay in France of French nationals living abroad (outside the EU) and their dependents, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has set up a specific system for obtaining a health pass with vaccination equivalence valid on French territory. Read more here (External link) .

A system has also been set up to facilitate the stay in France of tourists from outside the EU: it allows them to obtain a certificate of vaccination equivalence valid as a health pass on French territory. Read more here (External link) . Certificate requests can be made directly at a pharmacy. Pharmacies offering the service are listed here (External link) .


Vaccines accepted by France:

The vaccines accepted by France are those recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield and Johnson & Johnson.

Proof of vaccination is only valid for the completion of a full vaccination schedule, i.e.:

  • one week after second injection for double-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield);
  • four weeks after injection for single-injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
  • one week after injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid (only one injection is required).

Further info on health-related border controls depending on origin: FAQ from the French Ministry of the Interior (External link)

Consult the websites of the prefectures or local authorities for more details.

Also visit the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (External link) .

What are the preventative actions to take to limit the spread of the virus?

There are simple actions to protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • Wash your hands very regularly;
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow;
  • Use disposable tissues and throw them away;
  • Greet others without shaking hands and avoid hugs;
  • Wear a mask if you feel ill;
  • Wear a mask in enclosed public places, on public transport, in taxis and rideshares, in shops, and in any other places deemed necessary by the prefects of each department depending on the local health situation.