What to expect when travelling to reopened France in 2021?

France is one of the most visited countries in the world due to its exceptional food and wine, beautiful sites and rich cultural heritage. Having endured a difficult winter due to the Coronavirus, the summer of 2021 brings lots of hope for movement in the country, as more of the population gets vaccinated and the cases of the virus drop. If you are keen to visit France within the next six months, please read below to understand what your visit will include, as well as how to get home to Canada and the US as simply as possible.

 

The latest update travel restrictions in France. Who can travel to France now?

As of summer 2021, vaccinated travelers from the USA and Canada are allowed to enter France without a PCR test. To be classified as fully vaccinated you need to have had two doses of one of the four EU-approved vaccines: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. The second dose has to have been administered at least two weeks prior to leaving your country of origin. You will also need to carry your vaccination card with you as proof.

Travellers from Canada and the US can also enter France not having been vaccinated, but will need to present a negative PCR test within the 72 hours prior to departure.

At the airport, health assessments also take place, including a temperature check and visual examination as standard.

Before entering France, from any country of origin and for any travel reason, you will need to sign a sworn declaration that you do not have Covid-19, nor contact with someone recently who has had it and are not presenting any symptoms.

 

What’s the Covid situation in France? What percentage of the population has been vaccinated in France?

As of today (August 23rd) 55% of France’s population has been fully vaccinated.

 

What can visitors to France expect now? What restrictions are in place?

Due to France’s high numbers of Coronavirus in February and March, the country was under a fairly strict lockdown.  As numbers decreased, at the close of April President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would have a slow steady easing of deconfinement from May 3rd to June 30th. Happily, due to falling case rates, the end of curfew officially took place yesterday, June 20th.

Masks must be worn in enclosed public places, especially public transport where social distancing is not always possible. This includes taxis and rideshares. Each department of France is allowed to decree its own terms according to the local health situation, so be sure to check the guidelines of the region you are visiting to see what is and isn’t necessary.

In the event that you have been found not wearing a mask when it was necessary, you will be charged 135 Euros.

Social distancing of 1 metre should still be in place when people are not co-habiting.

 

What is open in France now? Has life returned to normal? 

From summer, the curfew was lifted and all bars and restaurants are open for indoor and outdoor seating.

Shops and indoor markets are open, though the rule of thumb is one client per 4m2, and of course a mask is mandatory in crowded spaces.

Museums and cultural institutions are open to 65% capacity, which means one visitor per 4m2.

On beaches, 1.5 metre distancing between groups should be observed.

 

What to expect when returning to Canada and the US from a trip to France in 2021

All international arrivals into both Canada and the United States must provide proof of a laboratory-generated negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure. The test must be a PCR test. There is currently no exception for those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

In France getting a COVID test is straightforward and the best way is to enquire at your hotel for your nearest pharmacy which offers the service. Results are generally guaranteed in 24 to 36 hours and prices range from 30-70 Euros. It’s best to bring your passport to the appointment.

 

 

Useful links for travellers to France:

https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

Americans

https://fr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Canadians

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/france