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TRAVEL NEWS

France places the United States on the Covid ‘red list’

France has placed the United States on the Covid red list for travel, imposing a ten day quarantine on some travellers from across the Atlantic. Here's what you need to know.

France has placed the United States on its Covid red list for travel, which imposes extra restrictions for unvaccinated travellers.
France has placed the United States on its Covid red list for travel, which imposes extra restrictions for unvaccinated travellers. (Photo by JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Unvaccinated travellers coming to France from the United States face added restrictions after France placed the country on its red list on Saturday – it was previously categorised as an amber list country. 

France defines red list countries as states where there is “an active circulation of the virus observed with a presence of worrying variants.” 

READ MORE How does France’s Covid traffic light system for travel work?

The United States, like France, is experiencing high levels of Covid-19 infection. American authorities last month urged US citizens not to visit France – this is advisory only, but can affect travel insurance.

The addition of the US to France’s red list means that unvaccinated people must quarantine at an address of their choosing for ten days following their arrival in France. Law enforcement officers will check to ensure that travellers are respecting the rules and issue hefty fines to those that do not. 

Vaccinated travellers do not face any changes. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

Vaccinated travellers 

Fully vaccinated travellers do not need an essential reason to travel. 

They do however need to provide proof of full vaccination (by the standards of their own country); a declaration of honour that they do not have any Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with someone infected with Covid; a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before your departure. 

For the purposes of travel, France counts as fully vaccinated those who:

  • Are vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson)
  • Are 7 days after their final dose, or 28 days in the case of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines
  • Have had a single vaccine dose after previously recovering from Covid. Travellers must be 7 days after their dose
  • Mixed dose vaccines (eg one Pfizer and one Moderna dose) are accepted 

Unvaccinated travellers 

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must have an essential reason to travel to France. French citizenship or residency counts as an essential reason as does coming to the country to get married. Tourism does not count as an essential reason for travel, nor family visits or visits from second-home owners. You can read the government’s full list of essential reasons here

You must also show a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before your departure if you are more than 12-years-old; fill in this online form; fill out a declaration of honour stating that you do not have Covid symptoms and are not a contact case, available here; sign a form stating that you will submit to an antigen test, if asked, upon arrival in France; and have some kind of proof of where you will stay during your quarantine period – a hotel booking or a letter of invitation from a friend or family member should suffice. 

READ MORE US advises against travel to France over Covid-19 surge

You will have to isolate for ten days following arrival in France. Upon arrival, border officials will tell you which hours you are allowed to leave quarantine for essential tasks such as food shopping. 

People without a titre de séjour or French/EU/Schengen Zone nationality, whether vaccinated or not, must respect the 90-day rule, which states that visitors can spend 90 days out of every 180 in the EU without applying for a visa or residency. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Red travel alert on France’s roads as summer holidays draw to a close

Another busy weekend on France’s roads is in store, as the summer holidays begin to draw to a close.

Red travel alert on France’s roads as summer holidays draw to a close

The country’s roads watchdog Bison Futé predicts very difficult travel conditions on major routes across the whole of the country, as holidaymakers head home on the penultimate weekend of les grandes vacances.

On Friday, the traffic monitor advises forecasts no particular problems for anyone travelling to holiday destinations, but advises road users heading home from popular resorts to:

  • Avoid the A13 between Rouen and Paris, from 5pm to 7pm;
  • Avoid the A10 between Bordeaux and Poitiers, from 12pm to 2pm;
  • Avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence, from 2pm to 6pm;
  • Avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Orléans, from 11am to 3pm;
  • Avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse, from 4pm to 7pm;
  • Avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in direction of France, from 1pm to 9pm.

Image: Bison Futé

Saturday travel, however, looks set to be more complicated, with Bison Fute predicting ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ conditions in both directions.

For outward journeys, it recommends that motorists should:

  • leave or cross the Île-de-France before 10am;
  • avoid the A13, between Paris and Rouen from 11am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A11, between Paris and Le Mans from 12pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A10 freeway, between Orleans and Tours from 10am to 5pm, and between Bordeaux and Poitiers from 11am to 4pm;
  • avoid the A6 between Beaune and Lyon from 10am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 8am to 6pm;
  • avoid the A20 between Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand from 10am to 4pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne from 10am to 3pm.

For return journeys on Saturday, road users are advised to:

  • return to or cross the Île-de-France before 2pm;
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 11am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Bordeaux and Poitiers from 10am to 3pm;
  • avoid the A6 between Lyon and Beaune from 1pm to 5pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Orange and Salon-de-Provence from 9am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence from 10am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Spain and Orange from 10am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Bourges from 3pm to 6pm, and between Bourges and Orléans from 9am to 12pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse from 10am to 3pm;
  • avoid the A75 between Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand from 12h to 14h;
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in direction of France, from 4pm to 9pm.

Image: Bison Futé

Traffic levels ease a little on Sunday for those heading towards popular French tourist resorts, but are still considered ‘very difficult’ for those heading back home

The following advice is in place for outward journeys in France on Sunday

  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 3pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Montpellier and Narbonne from 3pm to 5pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 4pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne from 3pm to 5pm.

For return journeys, the advice is:

  • return to or cross the Ile-de-France before 12pm,
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 3pm to 9pm,
  • avoid the A10 at the Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines tollgate from 4pm to 8pm, and between Bordeaux and Poitiers, from 11am to 5pm,
  • avoid the A6 between Lyon and Beaune from 11am to 9pm,
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Salon-de-Provence from 10am to 6pm,
  • avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence from 10am to 9pm,
  • avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Bourges from 10am to 12pm,
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in the direction of France from 2pm to 7pm.

Image: Bison Futé
 
The government will be back in Paris next week for the first Ministers meeting on August 24th, while schools start the new academic year the following week on Thursday, September 1st. 
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