Holidays in France this summer: what you need to know

To allow you to explore or re-explore France in complete safety this summer, tourism professionals are working hard to put relevant and effective health measures in place. Here's an overview.

Interregional travel has been permitted in France since May 3, 2021, while respecting the curfew still in place until June 30.

Consult the French government website for the latest updates here (External link) .

Also read our dedicated Covid-19 article.

Transport

There are currently no transport restrictions. However, a curfew is in force from 11pm to 6am until June 30. Travellers arriving at the station or airport after this time will need to be able to show their ticket and a travel certificate if prompted.

In stations and on board trains, wearing a mask is compulsory. Cleaning is being stepped up on trains, at stations and in shops. The SNCF is also adapting its packages in order to offer passengers greater flexibility.

Wearing a surgical mask is also compulsory at airports and on board aircraft (note that cloth masks are prohibited). It is recommended that you check with the airline you are flying with to find out what health measures are in force.

Hand sanitiser is available at stations and airports and travellers are required to respect social distancing whenever possible in boarding lounges, on platforms, etc.

It is perfectly possible to travel by carsharing, provided that a few rules and recommendations are observed, such as the compulsory wearing of masks for passengers aged 11 and over and for the driver. It is also recommended not to exceed two passengers in the rear seats. One passenger may sit in the front. The driver is advised to disinfect the affected surfaces and to air the vehicle regularly. These simple actions will limit the transmission of the virus during journeys.

On board buses and coaches, as on all public transport, it is compulsory for all passengers over the age of 11 to wear a mask. Bus operators have put in place measures such as disinfecting vehicles, providing hand sanitiser, closing toilets and limiting passenger movement during the journey.

Air France (External link)
SNCF (External link)
Paris airports (External link)

Accommodation

Hotels, guesthouses, campsites and other group accommodation are now open without restrictions across the country.

Since May 2020, strict health protocols (reinforced in October 2020) have been in place in hotels and restaurants in order to receive holidaymakers safely. Many professionals have also called on certification bodies to attest to the proper application of these measures, spearheaded by Accorhotels and Bureau Veritas.

Erecting plexiglass screens in common areas and keeping a tally of the number of people present in a specific place at any one time are additional hygiene measures taken by French accommodation to ensure that everyone has a safe holiday.

Restaurants in hotels, tourist residences and campsites have been open again since May 19. Indoor consumption is initially reserved for hotel guests, while the terraces are open following the same protocol as those in restaurants.

It is recommended to contact individual venues to find out about access to wellness areas, swimming pools, spas and other shared facilities.

Hotel, café and restaurant sector: official health protocols (French only) (External link)
Campsite and leisure park sector: official health protocols (French only) (External link)

Restaurants

Restaurants and cafés are open. On terraces, the 50% capacity limit was lifted on June 9. Guests can also have meals and drinks indoors, up to 50% capacity and with a table limit of six people.

Restaurants and bars are also obliged to respect the curfew of 11pm.

These measures are in force until June 30, when the curfew is due to be lifted.


Shops and shopping centres

All shops can open with appropriate measures in place, including the rule of one customer per 4m².


Natural sites

French beaches are open unless the local prefecture decides otherwise. You can also access lakes and other waterways. Static activities seaside or lakeside are allowed. You can still jog, swim, paddle or surf, but you can also sunbathe or read.

Finally, parks, gardens and other green spaces in urban areas are open and accessible, subject to health regulations. Gatherings of more than 10 people are currently prohibited.


Cultural sites

The reopening of cultural venues has been taking place in several phases since May 19, in order to welcome the public safely.

Since June 9, the capacity of museums and monuments has been 4m² per visitor, while cinemas, theatres and concert halls can accommodate up to 65% of their capacity, with a limit of 5,000 people. It should be noted that above 1,000 people, venues must be granted a health pass (External link) .

On June 30, these measures will be lifted. Concert halls will also be able to host standing performances with a health pass and adapted protocols.

Amusement park and fairground attractions have been back in operation since June 9, also with a capacity of 4m² per visitor.


Events

As of June 9, events, fairs and exhibitions can host up to 5,000 people in compliance with a strict measures, including the introduction of a health pass.

As for festivals, outdoor events with a seated audience can be held for up to 5,000 people from June 9, with a health pass compulsory for over 1,000 people.

Open-air festivals with a standing audience will be able to be held from June 30, subject to a limit of 4m² per festival-goer and the use of a health pass for over 1,000.

Concert halls will be able to welcome standing audiences again from June 30, subject to a ceiling on the number of visitors set by the local prefecture.

It is recommended that you contact your event organiser to find out the dates and conditions of attendance.


River cruises

Since May 3, cruising has been open on all 'Voies Navigables de France' tourist networks across France.

Cruise companies and pleasure boat hire companies are also putting health protocols in place to ensure safe cruising. It is recommended that you contact the operators to check their conditions.

As a reminder, the French network of rivers and canals extends to over 8,500km. It's a fantastic playground!