Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France

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The virus identified in January 2020 in China is a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. The illness provoked by this virus has been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Since 11 March 2020, the WHO has classified the global COVID-19 situation as a pandemic; this means that the epidemic is now global.
For information from the French Government about COVID-19 visit https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

This document contains information specifically for foreign nationals on:

  • International travel and travel within France
  • Duration of validity for residence permits
  • Students
  • Work (employee, employer, business, cross-border workers)
  • Childcare

Last update: 29 July 2020

Contents

I am a foreign national. Can I enter France?

There are no restrictions for travel to Metropolitan France from the European space (European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marina, Switzerland, Vatican) and the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

Travellers coming from other countries are encouraged to have a negative PCR test before they leave and, for those that do not do this, will be presented with information upon their arrival in France about the conditions for carrying out a two-week quarantine at a location of their choice or, where appropriate, in special accommodation. They will be informed of the possibilities for carrying out a test at the airport and in France.

Decree No. 2020-860 of 10 July 2020 amended (in French) requires passengers to present to their airline, before boarding, a self-declaration stating that they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and that, to their knowledge, they have not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the two weeks prior to the flight. They must wear a protection mask.

Furthermore, this decree brought in, from 1 August 2020, for air passengers arriving from certain countries, provisions regarding “presentation of results of a negative virology COVID-19 test (a PCR test for example), carried out less than 72 hours before the flight” In view of this text:

• Individuals aged 11 or over travelling to Metropolitan France from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, or Panama, must present such results upon boarding the flight.
• Individuals aged 11 or over travelling from Algeria, Brazil, India, Israel, Kuwait, Madagascar, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa or Turkey, who do not present such a document upon arrival in France will be directed towards a medical check point where the test will be carried out. Given these provisions, individuals aged 11 or over travelling from one of these 12 countries are strongly recommended to carry out this virology test locally, if they can, at most 72 hours before the flight.

  • The following travellers may be asked to quarantine or remain in isolation upon arrival (Decree No. 2020-884 of 17 July 2020 amending Decree No. 2020-860 of 10 July 2020) are:
  • Travellers with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival into France;
  • Travellers who, upon arrival, cannot show the results of a virology test carried out less than 72 hours before flying which proves that the traveller does not have COVID-19.
  • Travellers arriving from Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and Clipperton.
    Travellers are asked to show civic responsibility and to follow the health precautions recommended by the authorities.

Health checks upon entry into the French overseas territories are adapted for each territory:

  • Travellers to Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon will be required to carry out an adapted quarantine, including an RT-PCR test on the 7th day if they returned a negative PT-PCR test in the 48-72 hours after their flight. Travellers who did not undergo a RT-PCR test upon departure will be subject to strict quarantine measures.
  • in Guyane and Mayotte, entry into the territory will remain for emergency family or work reasons, given that the virus is still actively circulating in these territories. Travellers arriving in these territories will remain subject to a strict 14-day quarantine.

I am a foreign national and I am currently in a country outside the European area (European Union Member States, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican). I normally live in France. Can I enter France?

European Union citizens, and those of 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, if they reside in France or are transiting through France to reach their place of residence.

Foreigners with a valid residence permit, including a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit, can enter France.

In limited cases (particularly the transport of goods), foreigners with a short-term visa may be authorized to enter France.

To return to France, you must fill out and carry with you two documents:

  • the exempted movement certificate for Metropolitan France which can be downloaded on theMinistry of the Interior’s website. You must present this certificate to travel companies before using your travel ticket, as well as to border control authorities (for travel by air, sea and land, including by rail).
  • A declaration that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms (included in the same document).

All of these documents can be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

I am a foreign national living in France and have a residence permit. I am currently in a country outside the European area (European Union Member States, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican). Can I return to France?

Yes, foreign nationals with a residence permit, as well as their partner and children, can return to their residence in France. Those whose permit has been lost or stolen can request a return visa from the competent diplomatic or consular post.

Documents authorizing a stay in France which would have expired on 16 March 2020 and 15 June 2020 have been extended for six months.

Travellers to Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon will be required to carry out an adapted quarantine, including an RT-PCR test on the 7th day if they returned a negative PT-PCR test in the 48-72 hours after their flight. Travellers who did not undergo a RT-PCR test upon departure will be subject to strict quarantine measures.
In Guyane and Mayotte, entry into the territory will remain for emergency family or work reasons, given that the virus is still actively circulating in these territories. Travellers arriving in these territories will remain subject to a strict 14-day quarantine.

For all of the latest information, click here: "Residence permits - Duration of validity” on the Interior Ministry’s website.

I am a foreign national. Do I have to comply with quarantine measures when I enter France?

Restrictions on entering national territory at the borders within the European space (European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vatican City State) to fight COVID-19 were lifted on 15 June 2020.

• The following travellers may be asked to quarantine or remain in isolation upon arrival (Decree No. 2020-884 of 17 July 2020 amending Decree No. 2020-860 of 10 July 2020):
o Travellers with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival into France;
o Travellers who, upon arrival, cannot prove the results of a virology test carried out less than 72 hours before flying which proves that the traveller does not have COVID-19.
o Travellers arriving from Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and Clipperton.

Health restrictions remain in place, until further instruction, at the external borders by any means of transport.

Health checks upon entry into the French overseas territories are adapted for each territory:

  • Travellers to Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon will be required to carry out an adapted quarantine, including an RT-PCR test on the 7th day if they returned a negative PT-PCR test in the 48-72 hours after their flight. Travellers who did not undergo a RT-PCR test upon departure will be subject to strict quarantine measures. The French Parliament will soon consider whether to make RT-PCR tests compulsory.
  • in Guyane and Mayotte, entry into the territory will remain for emergency family or work reasons, given that the virus is still actively circulating in these territories. Travellers arriving in these territories will be subject to a strict 14-day quarantine.

Individuals arriving from the European area (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, United Kingdom, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland) or one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay will no longer be subject to restrictions on the grounds of preventing risks linked to the COVID-19 epidemic when entering Metropolitan France. This list will be regularly updated, at least every two weeks, in liaison with our European partners, taking account of the recommendations of the Council of the European Union, developments in the health situation and the principle of reciprocity.

Once they are admitted into France, foreign nationals from countries outside the European area (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, United Kingdom, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland) or countries not subject to the aforementioned restrictions, are subject to the two-week quarantine measures implemented by the French Government on Monday, 25 May 2020, amended by Decree No. 2020-884 of 17 July 2020, depending on their country of origin.

They are encouraged to have a negative PCR test before they leave and, for those that do not do this, will be presented with information upon their arrival in France about the conditions for carrying out a two-week quarantine at a location of their choice or, where appropriate, in special accommodation. They will be informed of the possibilities for carrying out a test at the airport and in France.

If you have questions on how to apply these measures when entering or staying in France, a free hotline is available: 0800 130 000.

I am a foreign national travelling within a French overseas department or territory. How can I leave France?

Travel abroad is not subject to any restrictions.

I am a foreign national currently in France. My residence permit expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020. What should I do?

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, travel outside the home is limited in accordance with the Decree of 20 March 2020

Foreign nationals whose residence permits expired from 16 March onwards are therefore exempted from the residence permit renewal procedure to prevent them having to make a journey for this reason.

Orders No. 2020-328 of 25 March 2020 and No. 2020-460 of 22 April therefore extend the duration of validity of documents that would have expired between 16 March 2020 and 15 May 2020 by 6 months. This measure applies to:
● Long-stay visas,
● Residence permits,
● Temporary residence permits,
● Receipts for residence permit requests,
Proof of asylum which expired during these same dates (16 March 2020 and 15 June 2020) are extended for 3 months.

It is important to note that this does not apply to short-stay visas (see next question).

For the latest information, click here

I am staying in France with a short-stay visa that is about to expire or expired during the confinement. What should I do?

Please contact your embassy as soon as possible to find out about how to return to the country where you are normally resident.

Holders of short-stay visas that are about to expire, and nationals exempt from a Schengen Visa whose maximum stay in the Schengen Area is reached or about to be reached, are asked to make contact with the Prefecture in the place they are staying which, in cases of justified emergency, may prolong their visa or issue a temporary residence authorization.

I requested a short-stay or long-stay visa from a French consulate, what will happen to my request?

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, France has stopped issuing visas until further notice. This decision applies to all visa requests (Schengen short-stay visas, long-stay visas for France, and visas for overseas France). It also applies to requests already submitted and requests for which appointments had already been made.

I requested a visa to enter France. I had an appointment. Is it still valid?

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, France has stopped issuing visas until further notice. This decision applies to all visa requests (Schengen short-stay visas, long-stay visas for France, and visas for overseas France). It also applies to applications for which appointments have already been made. You will have to make a new appointment to submit your visa application.

I was granted a visa to travel to France. I haven’t used it because of the border closures. What should I do?

If you have a short-stay Schengen visa that you cannot use, you will be able to use a simplified procedure requiring fewer proof documents for a new visa request once France has resumed issuing visas. If you have a long-stay visa that expires between 16 March and 15 June 2020, its validity has been automatically extended by 6 months so that you can return to France once this will be possible again.

I am an asylum seeker. I have an appointment with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). What should I do?

• Closure of the general reception

The general reception has been closed since 16 March. No members of the public will be received without an appointment until further notice.
Those seeking asylum or stateless person status may contact OFPRA only by email at the address indicated on their appointment letter. In the absence of an appointment letter, questions should be sent to
communication at ofpra.gouv.fr.

• Closure of reception for those with international protection

The reception for protected persons has been closed since 16 March and will remain so until further notice. No civil status documents can be issued on the OFPRA premises.

Protected persons may however continue to request the issuance of civil status documents (birth/marriage/death certificates) online using the dedicated form on the OFPRA website. Tutorialshave been created to help fill in online forms.

They can also make a request to the departmental offices of the OFII or the place they are staying, if they are staying in a residence provided by the State, for provisional proof of family composition established based on the certificates made when they submitted their application for asylum. This document can be issued upon presentation of the OFPRA decision recognizing international protection and can be used to access social rights, without waiting for the OFPRA to issue the initial civil status documents.

Considerable information on the civil status of protected persons (Civil status of protected persons) or the right to family reunification (Family reunification) is available on the OFPRA website.

• Gradual resumption of asylum and stateless person status interviews

From 11 May, appointment letters for asylum or stateless person status interviews will be sent by post or issued in person at the OFPRA offices in French Guiana, by appointment only.

Those requesting asylum or stateless person status whose interviews were cancelled before 11 May will receive a new appointment later.

Those invited for an interview at the OFPRA offices are requested not to bring their children.

The presence of any third parties at an interview must be notified to OFPRA at least 48 hours in advance so that organizational steps can be taken.

Individuals received at the OFPRA are invited to respect the prevention measures that the OFPRA has put in place to protect their health and that of others:

  • Access to OFPRA sites is subject to a temperature check by security personnel;
  • A surgical mask is issued to visitors and must be worn during the entire time they spend in the OFPRA buildings.
  • If individuals visiting the OFPRA present symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately inform the security officers or protection instructing officers to receive help.

• Submitting an asylum application to OFPRA

Asylum seekers who need to submit an application to OFPRA are invited to do so as usual (by post only).

Order No. 2020-306 of 25 March 2020, superseded by Order No. 2020-560 of 13 May 2020, provided for extensions for certain formalities that were due to be completed between 12 March and 23 June, inclusive. As such, in accordance with Article 2 of the Order, asylum applications that should have been submitted to OFPRA during this period may be duly submitted until the end of the initial timeframe, counting from the end of this period.

In practice, the new submission date will run from 23 June 2020 at midnight.

• Notification of OFPRA decisions

Because of the closure of some post offices, ongoing notifications of OFPRA decisions taken before 16 March may be disrupted. These circumstances will be taken into account by OFPRA to carry out new notifications, where required.

• Requests for access to OFPRA files

Asylum seekers and protected persons who wish to access their administrative asylum application files may do so by sending an email to the following address: comacces at ofpra.gouv.fr.
This information will be updated on the OFPRA website

I am an international student and I wish to travel to France. What should I do?

International students will be allowed to travel to France, regardless of their countries of origin, and visa procedures will be facilitated. Visa and resident permit applications will be processed as a priority.

I am a foreign student in France. The establishment where I was studying is closed. Should I stay or return home?

Although universities are closed, international students can remain in France. Students who were staying in university halls of residence may have been asked to leave before the confinement period. Wherever possible, international students who are still in France are requested to contact their consular authorities to help them decide what to do. Students will still be entitled to healthcare and, where relevant, to remain in university halls of residence during their stay in France.
Campus France will ensure that international scholarship students who wish to return to their countries can do so, when they are managed by said agency.
International students on training courses in France whose residence permits will soon expire will have their residence permits automatically extended by three months by the French government. Residence permits, receipts and long-stay visas due to expire between 16 March and 15 June 2020, which had already been extended by three months, will be extended by a further three months.

Further information is available on the Campus France website.

I am a foreign student in France. Are classes finished?

All French higher education establishments have been closed since Monday, 16 March following the decision of the President of the French Republic and until further notice.

During this period, teaching is continuing in formats appropriate for this unprecedented situation.

You are strongly advised to remain in contact with your education establishment and pay attention to the information sent by email and posted on their websites and official social media.

Further information is available on the Campus France website.

I am a foreign student in France, and I am living in a student residence. Can I stay there?

The procedures and new regulations adopted by each CROUS are set out on the social networks of each CROUS.
For the latest information, click here.

I am employed in France. What precautions should I take when carrying out my work?

You should follow the health recommendations available on the government website

The French Labour Code provides that the employer must take the necessary steps “to ensure the safety and protect the physical and mental health of workers” (Article L. 4121-1). The employer therefore has the right to take restrictive measures to ensure the health of their staff after assessing the risk of contamination in the business.

Furthermore, under Article L. 4122-1 of the Labour Code “in accordance with the instructions given by the employer, each worker should take care, in accordance with their training and as far as they are able, of their health and safety as well as that of other people concerned by their actions or omissions in the workplace.”
Therefore:

• You must comply with the instructions given to you by your employer according to the situation in your company and your own situation;
• You must ensure your own security and that of your colleagues while respecting the health advice given.

For the latest information (in French), click here

The rules for issuing work permits have been simplified.
As regards seasonal workers:

  • Ongoing contracts for which work permits have already been given may be renewed. For this, the employer must send an email to the DIRECCTE for their local area with the following: A copy of the contract renewal, the work permit and seasonal residence permit of the employee, instead of the permit request form.
  • For contracts with a new employer, requests for work permits should be sent in digital format to the DIRECCTE with sheet 1 of the CERFA 15196*03 filled in, without the other proof documents.
  • New recruitments (first work contract giving access to the “seasonal worker” residence permit) have been suspended at this time.

The same simplifications apply to all other situations requiring temporary work permits:

  • For students working more than 964 hours per year and asylum seekers with proof of asylum request older than 6 months, temporary work permits that have already been issued may be extended by 3 months. For this to take place, the employer must send by email to the DIRECCTE a copy: of the work contract renewal, the residence permit (or proof of asylum request) and the temporary work permit obtained for the initial contract;
  • Temporary workers whose work contract is reaching expiry and whose residence permit has been extended by three months, may have their initial work permit extended for a maximum of 3 months, following the same procedure as for temporary work permits above,
  • Foreign nationals already present in France, holding a residence permit that does not allow them to work, may sign a work contract of 3 months maximum. The employer must request a work permit using the same simplified procedure.

Regarding foreign doctors:

  • Associate practitioners and specialised assistants whose residence permit was due to expire between 16 March and 15 June and has been extended may have their contracts extended by 3 months using the same procedure as for temporary work permits above.
  • The same shall apply to individuals fulfilling the role of an “interne” (FFI).
  • 6-month extensions for permits expiring between 16 March and 15 May mean you may continue to work as long as your internship does not last longer than a total of 24 months and 12 months in the same establishment.

I am a foreign employer in France. What should I do to ensure the health and safety of my staff?

The epidemic requires us to be particularly vigilant in the interest of staff and businesses. The presence of employees necessary for the functioning of the business will largely depend on the businesses’ ability to address the concerns of employees and ensure that they are correctly protected from the specific risks relating to the virus (particularly employees in contact with the public).

The Labour Code requires the employer to take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of their personnel. They must therefore carry out a job risk assessment. This assessment must be carried out again due to the epidemic to reduce the risk as much as possible of contamination at work or taking measures such as preventative actions and information and training campaigns as well as roll-out of workplace adaptations, in accordance with government instructions.

As part of managing the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, the Ministry of Labour has published information brochures for employers on the steps to take to protect the health of their employees.

For the latest detailed information in several languages, click here

I work in France but live in a neighbouring country. Can I continue to go to work?

Generally speaking, job contracts continue to be valid and the cross-border worker continues to enjoy the rights and protections resulting from their contract similar to other employees.

For the latest detailed information, click here

I am a seasonal agricultural worker, what should I do to enter France?

Seasonal agricultural workers living in the European area (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, United Kingdom, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland) or one of the following countries:

Seasonal agricultural workers who are citizens or residents of a country that is a Member State of the European Union or the Schengen area or of the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Holy See are authorized to enter and work in France.

This scheme is strictly limited to seasonal workers in the agricultural sector.

To enter and work in France, these workers must have the following documents upon entry into France and during their stay:

  • the international travel declaration (template available on the Interior Ministry’s website together with the declaration to state the holder does not have any symptoms of COVID-19);
  • the international travel declaration to be completed by employers(template available on the Interior Ministry’s website);
  • one of the following documents: a declaration prior to employment; the confirmation of reception of the simplified agricultural contract of employment (TESA or TESA+); a contract of employment signed with a business or farm in France.
    No formalities are required for seasonal workers to enter and stay in France.
    For more information see the section on quarantine measures on the Interior Ministry’s website.

I am a posted worker in France, what should I do to enter France?

Workers who are nationals of a European Union Member State who have to come and work in France under the posted worker scheme may enter France and work if their mission cannot be postponed.
This scheme is also valid for UK nationals.
To enter Metropolitan France, no additional formalities are necessary if the posted worker arrives from a country within the European area (European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican).
If the posted worker arrives from a country outside the European area, before the worker arrives in French territory, the employer must send confirmation of reception of the advance declaration of posting and all the documents proving why the mission cannot be postponed (a hand-written certificate is sufficient where necessary) to the following email address:
detaches at interieur.gouv.fr.
To enter metropolitan France, these individuals must have:

  • the international travel declaration(template available on the Interior Ministry’s website, includingthe declaration to state the holder does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and has not been in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 case in the 14 days prior to travel);
  • confirmation of reception of the advance declaration of posting;
    To enter a French overseas territory, regardless of the country of origin, posted workers must have:
  • the international travel declaration(template available on the Interior Ministry’s website);
  • confirmation of reception of the advance declaration of posting;
  • a signed declaration of the reason for their travel;
  • a signed declaration to state the holder does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and has not been in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 case in the 14 days prior to travel.
    For more information see the section on quarantine measures on the Interior Ministry’s website.

Visiting and overnight access rights for children in France or abroad I live abroad and my child is currently in France with their mother/father. Can my child travel to see me?

Before travelling, you should consider the following points:

  • children’s travel should be limited as much as possible, especially over long distances;
  • For air travel, check that links are indeed available in both directions of travel;
  • Ensure that the legislation (or regulations) applicable and in the other country at the time of travel authorize such travel. To this end, we recommended that you regularly check the advice given on the Travellers Advice pages of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs website as well as the website of the relevant consulate in the other country. The contact details of your consulate are available in the Travellers Advice pages of the France Diplomatie website;
  • Make sure you carry copies of legal decisions which set out the framework for the visiting and overnight access rights which have been granted and any documents/travel declarations requested by French and local authorities.
    NB: preventing exercise of visiting and overnight access rights by the other parent without legitimate reason or refusing to hand over a child may be punishable with up to one year imprisonment and a €15,000 fine.

I live outside the European area (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) and I wish to travel to France to accompany my child to see their mother/father who lives in France. Can I travel to France?

It is recommended that, in so far as is possible, children travelling to France after the school holiday periods should do so alone (using the unaccompanied minor service provided by airlines from 5 years of age).
In situations where it is impossible for a child to travel alone and you are the only person who may accompany them back to France, we recommend that you check the conditions for your entry into France before travelling by visiting the Interior Ministry’s website.
If your child requires a visa, we recommend you contact the consulate in your country of residence in order to check the conditions for issuing the visa that they would need to visit France (outside EU, Schengen Area and United Kingdom).
Generally speaking, in order to facilitate border checks, anyone wishing to enter France must have an international travel declaration (template available on the Interior Ministry’s website). This declaration must be presented at border checks together with the necessary proof documentation (legal decision setting out the visiting and overnight access rights, for example). Failure to produce this declaration will see you refused boarding by the airline.

If my child is returning from a country outside the European space (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican), or from the United Kingdom, will he/she be placed in 14-day quarantine upon arrival in France?

The government has put in place voluntary 14-day quarantine measures depending on where travellers arrive from:

Travellers coming from outside the European area (European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican) are encouraged to have a negative PCR test before they leave and, for those that do not do this, will be presented with information upon their arrival in France about the conditions for carrying out a two-week quarantine at a location of their choice or, where appropriate, in special accommodation. They will be informed of the possibilities for carrying out a test at the airport and in France.

Travellers are asked to show civic responsibility and to follow this health precaution.