Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France

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Coming to France? Your Covid-19 questions answered

Last update - 8 December

COMING TO FRANCE ?
Check whether your country of departure is on the green, orange, red or scarlet list. Different rules apply according to each category.

ALREADY ON FRENCH TERRITORY ?
If you are already on French territory, or if you want the latest updates, please visit the English-language page of the Interior Ministry.

IMPORTANT
Any person aged 12 and over entering French territory must present a negative PCR or antigen test less than 24 or 48 hours old, depending on the country of origin.

Individuals with a complete vaccination schedule arriving from a Member State of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See or Switzerland are exempt from this rule.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST UPDATED INFORMATION IN ENGLISH

I am a foreign national living abroad. Can I travel to France?

The entry conditions to French territory are defined by the classification of departure countries (countries and territories on “green”, “orange”, “red” and “scarlet” lists) indicated below.

"Green" countries/territories: countries/territories in which no active circulation of the virus is observed and no variants of concern are identified. These are the European countries plus Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Comoros, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
"Orange" countries/territories: countries/territories where there is active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions. These are all countries/territories not included in the ’green’ and ’red’ lists.
"Red" countries/territories: countries/territories where active virus circulation is observed with the presence of variants of concern. These are: Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, Mauritius*, Moldova, Montenegro, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Suriname, Turkey and Ukraine.
Scarlet red countries/territories: where the circulation of the virus is particularly active and/or a variant is likely to present a risk of increased transmissibility or immune escape. These are: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • If you have travelled through a third country during your return trip to France, but remained in the airport international zone, the rules for the departure country apply.
  • Flights from Mauritius to Reunion Island remain subject to the scarlet category rules.
  • Vaccinated persons aged 12 years or over wishing to travel to France from the UK must present a PCR or antigen negative test result less than 48 hours old before travelling (24 hours old for those not fully vaccinated).
  • Morocco has suspended regular flights to and from France as of Sunday, 28 November 2021.
  • People coming from Belgium, apart from children under 12, must present proof of full vaccination or a negative result of a PCR or antigen test taken less than 24 hours prior to the date of arrival.

What is a COVID certificate?

To enter French territory, The COVID certificate is mandatory for everyone over the age of 12 years and two months. Travellers under 12 do not have to take a test.

A COVID certificate proves the vaccination status, negative test result or recovery of its holder.

Note: Foreign visitors must pay a fee for tests in France.

In the European Union, the “EU Digital Covid Certificate” has been implemented in all Member States.

It also concerns those vaccinated in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Holy See, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

A certificate of recovery between 11 days and 6 months old may also serve as a COVID certificate. This document is issued to people who have contracted COVID-19, upon presentation of a positive RT-PCR or antigen test.

Starting on 15 December 2021, people 65 and older or who were vaccinated with a Janssen vaccine must provide proof of booster vaccination for their COVID certificate to be extended.

All those between the ages of 18 and 65 must receive their booster before 15 January 2022 to ensure their COVID certificate remains valid after this date.

Certain exceptions (tests, proof of vaccination or COVID certificate, depending on the individual situation) are made for the following:

  • trips by residents of cross-border areas (border within a 30 km radius of your residence, and for a duration of less than 24 hours).
  • work-related trips, the urgent or frequent nature of which makes them incompatible with these tests;
  • trips by hauliers carrying out their work.

-* To avail of the exemptions above, you must have a document proving the reasons for your trip.

STAYING SAFE IN FRANCE:
Upon arrival in France, travellers should download the application TousAntiCovid, continue to strictly respect protective measures and physical distancing, wear a face mask and be vigilant and act responsibly if symptoms appear or if they are infected.

Exceptions for pressing grounds. Do I qualify ?

In certain cases, you may be exempt from some of the rules for entering France if your reasons for visiting France are considered as ’pressing grounds’.

IMPORTANT
Tourism and holidays abroad are not considered pressing grounds for travel.


If your travel falls within one of the pressing grounds announced by the French government, a sworn declaration can be downloaded on the Ministry of the Interior’s website (in French). It must be presented upon boarding to the transport company and accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents. Examples of pressing grounds for travel can be found on the sworn declaration.

Specific rules apply to road hauliers: see the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Where required, pressing grounds for travel do not concern partners of French citizens, their children, or European citizens and equivalent, their partners (spouses, civil partners or cohabiters), or their children, whose main residence is in mainland France or who are transiting through France to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent, or the country of their nationality.

Those travelling to France on pressing grounds, from countries where the virological screening test (RT-PCR) cannot be done before departure, may request an exemption from presenting this test at departure (pressing grounds for travel must be proven), and must submit to a test upon arrival in France. They must isolate for 7 days.

Travelling to France: COVID-19 restrictions

COMPULSORY DOCUMENTATION
All passengers must present a sworn declaration to border/transport officials stating that you have no symptoms of COVID-19 infection and have not, to your knowledge, been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the journey; they also undertake to isolate for 7 days upon arrival in France and submit to a second virological screening (RT-PCR) test upon completion of this 7-day isolation. If you fail to produce these documents, you may be denied boarding / border crossing.

Download the declaration template here

IMPORTANT
Irrespective of their country of departure, travellers presenting symptoms of COVID-19 infection upon arrival in French territory will be required to quarantine, or, if necessary, will be placed and held in isolation by the competent Prefect for the area.

Can civil partners (who have signed a PACS) and cohabiters be issued a visa?

Exceptionally, civil partners and cohabiters will be considered as partners, on the condition that their usual residence is in the same household as the European citizen or foreign national holding a residence permit.

Partners of citizens of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland, their spouses and children can enter France, as well as citizens of the Holy See and San Marino, their spouses and children, may be granted a visa.

Consulates will determine the visa category that is most relevant to each individual situation.

International students and researchers: conditions for entering France

Depending on your country of departure and your vaccination status, the procedures that apply to travel to France are different. We recommend you complete a full vaccination cycle before your departure to facilitate your arrival and daily life in France.


Students and researchers from Category 1 (“green” list) countries and territories
do not need to have proof of pressing grounds to travel to France.

For students and researchers from Category 2 (“orange” list) and Category 3 (“red” list) countries and territories, the following reasons are recognized as pressing grounds for travel:

  • students enrolled in French as a foreign language courses prior to enrolment in higher education;
  • students that have passed the oral tests of entrance exams to French higher education institutions;
  • students enrolled in a higher education establishment for the year 2021-2022 (including French as a foreign language courses);
  • Researchers and teaching staff (including language assistants) moving to France at the invitation of a research laboratory or higher education institution, for research or teaching activities absolutely requiring their physical presence, as well as their partners (spouses, civil partners, or cohabiters, subject to evidence of cohabitation) and children.
For more information, visit the Campus France website. You may also find information from the French Consulate or Campus France office in your place of residence.

Please note that each territory may apply separate measures via a prefectoral order. For more details on the COVID-19 restrictions in place in each territory, please consult the website of the corresponding prefecture. In addition, to tackle the new wave of the pandemic, further measures are in force as of 26 November 2021.

I am a French national and I live abroad. Can I travel to France?

All French nationals and their partners and children can enter France, subject to compliance with current public health rules.

Are there specific measures for overseas France and Corsica?

Travel to and from all overseas territories is only possible if you have pressing grounds for travel, with the exception of those who are fully vaccinated, and on condition they have negative PCR or antigen test results.

For more information on public health rules applicable to each territory, visit the website of the competent Prefecture:

Travel to and from Corsica is subject to specific measures, which can be consulted on the website of the Regional Prefecture.

You can also visit the dedicated website on the Government website: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/outre-mer (in French)