With February half term approaching, you may have planned a trip to France to visit Paris or other beautiful regions or to go skiing in the French Alps of course! Now, you have your train or plane tickets but you feel lost regarding the Covid rules to enter France and the Covid rules in the country? I completely understand! That’s really confusing! As you may know, I am a French mum living in the UK so I can totally agree with your “lost in translation feeling”! My country has really not made things easy! That’s why, with that article, I will try to summarize the main Covid rules you need to know to enjoy your holiday there!
What are the Covid rules to enter France?
For France, the UK is an “orange” country. Here are the rules:
- Show that you’re fully vaccinated. Please note that to enter France your Covid Pass will be valid if you had your booster no later than 9 months after your 2nd dose. But as your Covid Pass will only be valid 4 months after the 2nd jab for the activities you may have in France (visits, restaurants… see below), then it means that between the 5th month and the 9th month after your second dose, yes you can enter France but you won’t be able to do much while in the country.
- No test needed for vaccinated people since February 12th, 2022
- Children that are older than 12 years old but not fully vaccinated can travel with their vaccinated parents (no quarantine) but they need to take an antigen test in the 48 hours (or PCR in the 72h) before your trip to France (NHS tests not allowed as proof).
- For everyone above 12 years old, a paper declaration form must be filled in (you declare you have no symptoms and that you have not been in contact with anyone with Covid in the 14 last days).
- No travel restrictions for children under 12 years old.
- Adults that are not fully vaccinated will have to quarantine 7 days and still need to take an antigen test in the 48 hours (or PCR in the 72h) before they travel to France.
- Please find all the details of the rules to enter France on the French official website or on gov.uk
When travelling back to the UK:
- No tests needed for fully vaccinated people
- Fill in the Passenger Locator form
- no tests needed for children accompanied by their parents (all children under 18 years old).
- More details on gov.uk.
In France, you’ll need a Covid Pass:
NEW : From March 15th, 2022 you won’t need the Covid Pass anymore for restaurants, museums, transports, cafés…
- Covid Pass needed: for a lot of activities, you will need a Covid Pass. For instance to eat in a restaurant, to stay in a hotel, to visit a museum, to go to the movie theatre, etc…
- What is the French Covid Pass? For adults AND for 16 to 18 years old children, a Covid pass is a proof of vaccination OR a Covid recovery certificate. For 12 to 15 years old children, the same proofs are valid but they can provide a negative antigenic test instead. For children younger than 12 years old, there is no Covid pass needed.
- Be careful: the Covid Pass is only valid during 4 months after your second Covid jab or 4 months after you recovered from Covid (if you had 3 doses, then you’re completely fine!). For 12 to 15 years old children who are using antigen test to get the pass, the validity of their pass is only 24 hours! Therefore, they need to test every day to be able to participate to any of the activities I mentionned earlier. Some examples: 1/ if you had your 2nd Covid jab on November 1st 2021, it will be valid until March 1st. After that, you will need to show you had a 3rd jab. 2/ if you had Covid in January 2022 and got a recovery certificate, then your Covid pass will be valid until May (4 months after the date on your certificate) even if you had no Covid vaccine before. 3/ if you had your third jab on December 1st and you want to travel to France in May 2022 (more than 4 months later), then even if not specified, it’s still ok for the moment because there is no 4th jab campaign in France.
- How to show your Covid Pass? if you live in the UK, you can show the QR code you got from the NHS (vaccine QR code or recovery certificate QR code). If you live in the EU, your country has also given you a QR code that works in all the EU countries. If you don’t use an app, you can show your QR code on paper. If you prefer, you can also scan your QR code in the French Covid app called “Tous Anti-Covid”. Your choice!
Covid rules on ski resorts in France:
- Covid Pass needed for ski lifts of any kind: controls can be done when you buy your ski pass or when you take a ski lift or by the ski teacher of children above 12 years. If your 12 to 15 years old children need to test to get their Covid pass, I recommend you book antigen test appointments in advance in a local pharmacy. Cost is 25€ per test. The Covid Pass is also necessary for all the other activities in the resort: restaurants, hotels, swimming pools, spa, etc…
- Wear a mask in ski lifts queues and on ski lifts: you can use any usual type of Covid mask or buy a warm Covid neckband. If your ski resort is at the border with Italy, be aware that only FFP2 masks are allowed there.
I hope you feel ready for your trip to France in Covid times! Bon voyage!