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France toughens Covid entry rules for Ireland and other EU nations

A sign guides passengers to a Covid-19 testing center in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Non-vaccinated passengers seeking to enter France face tougher restrictions.
A sign guides passengers to a Covid-19 testing center in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Non-vaccinated passengers seeking to enter France face tougher restrictions. (Photo by Eric PIERMONT / AFP)
As a fifth wave grips Europe, France has tightened entry rules for non-vaccinated visitors from a number of EU countries. Here is what you need to know.

Non-vaccinated travellers wishing to enter France face an increasingly challenging restrictions, which came into effect on Saturday

Previously, non-vaccinated visitors travelling from within the EU had to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of their departure to France.

Fully vaccinated arrivals do not need to take a test. 

Now this testing window has been shortened to 24 hours for non-vaccinated travellers from the following EU countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia. 

The 24 hour rule was already in place for non-vaccinated arrivals from the UK, who also need to provide proof of ‘essential travel’ in order to enter France.

Testing requirements apply to all travellers aged 12 and over.

This rule does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • Lorry drivers and other long-distance drivers travelling for work
  • If you will be in France for less than 24 hours and will be going no further than 30 km from your permanent place of residence (ie people living close to the borders)
  • If you are in France on urgent professional business or on frequent business trips whereby it is impossible for you to take a test within the time window.

The rules for non-vaccinated travellers from other EU countries and the USA remain unchanged – at the border, they must present a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours before departure or a negative antigen test carried out within 48 hours before departure. 

READ ALSO Passport scans and €7 fee: What will change for EU travel in 2022

Rules for non-vaccinated travellers from the UK also remain the same: they must present a negative PCR or antigen test completed less than 24 hours before departure.  

Non-vaccinated visitors seeking to enter France must also sign a sworn statement declaring that they have no symptoms of Covid-19 and have not been in contact with anyone that has.

Those coming from amber list countries, including the UK and US, must also fill out a travel certificate, while an antigen test upon arrival (for those aged 11 or over), and a 7-day isolation period following arrival in France is requested (although not enforced by police).

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel between France and the USA

Vaccinated travellers

Vaccinated travellers from the EU and the UK need to prove that they have received a full course of shots of one of the recognised vaccines. They must also sign the health declaration stating that they have no Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with Covid cases – find the declaration here

Health pass

It is worth noting that the health pass in France applies to anyone over the age of 12 years and two months.

The health pass requires either proof of full vaccination, recent recovery from Covid or a negative Covid test less than 72 hours old and is mandatory for access to a range of venues including bars, cafés, restaurants, leisure centres, cinemas, tourist sites and long-distance train travel. 

Unvaccinated teenagers will therefore need to either take a test every 72 hours or face exclusion from health pass venues.

Travel rules can change quickly, so for all the latest, head to our Travelling to France section.


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