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AMERICANS IN FRANCE

Covid-19: Everything you need to know about travel between France and the USA

The majority of Covid-related restrictions between France and the USA have now been lifted, so if you have a trip planned, here's what you need to know.

Covid-19: Everything you need to know about travel between France and the USA
The US has reopened its borders to vaccinated travellers. Photo: Kenzo Tribaullard/AFP

America has reopened travel from Europe for all purposes, including tourism, and the USA is on France’s ‘green list’ for travel – meaning that tourism between the two countries is now once again a viable option.

From France to the US

Non-US citizens are able to travel from France for any reason – including holidays –  but only if they are fully vaccinated.

However a negative test is required on arrival for all travellers, vaccinated or not.

The US counts as vaccinated those who are:

  • Vaccinated with a WHO approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca)
  • 14 days after the final dose
  • The US does not give mixed dose vaccines (eg one AstraZeneca and one Pfizer) but it will accept this combination as fully vaccinated.
  • However it will not accept a single vaccine dose after catching Covid

US citizens, permanent residents and those travelling to the US on an immigrant visa are not required to show proof of vaccination.

Find the full details here.

Testing – All travellers over the age of two – US citizens included – must show a negative Covid test before boarding, taken no more than 1 day before your day of travel. The French pharmacy-administered antigen tests are accepted for travel, as well as PCR tests.  

From the US to France

The US is now on France’s ‘green list’ for travel, which has the lightest level of restrictions.

If you are fully vaccinated – you need only to provide proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test is not needed. The health declaration is also no longer needed. CDC vaccine certificates are accepted at the border as proof of vaccination.

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
  • OR Have had a single vaccine dose after previously recovering from Covid. Travellers must be 7 days after their dose
  • Have had a booster shot if more than 9 months has passed since the final dose of your vaccine. If you have had a booster shot there is no need for a second one, even if more than 9 months has passed since your booster
  • Mixed dose vaccines are accepted 

If you are not vaccinated – you need to show a negative Covid test on boarding, taken within 72 hours if a PCR test or 48 hours if an antigen test. Travellers must also fill in a declaration stating that they do not have Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with Covid patients – find the form here.

Once in France there is no need to quarantine. 

In France

France has lifted many of its health rules, but masks are still required on all public transport (including taxis and VTC) and in transport hubs such as train stations and airports. Masks are also required when entering any healthcare facility.

Masks are no longer required in shops or bars, although private businesses have the right to require customers to wear one as a condition of entry.

There are no exemptions to the mask rule and failure to comply can lead to a €135 fine.

The vaccine pass is no longer required, unless you are visiting an establishment with high-risk residents such as a nursing home.

Member comments

  1. going to USA via UK. Leave France on Monday by car and fly from Heathrow Wednesday. Looks like i need a day 2 test and an antigen test at least 3 days before flight. Can i get antigen test in France on monday or do i need to pay for one in uk. Don’t understand why can’t just book 1 test for arrival and departure

  2. larry maloney
    CORRECTION/Amplification … If you enter the USA via the boarder between Mexico and USA there are NO requirements of any kind.

  3. “If you are fully vaccinated the test must be taken within 72 hours of travel, non-vaccinated people must have a test taken within 24 hours of travel.”

    This is incorrect – every traveler to the US 2+ years of age needs a negative test taken one day prior to boarding, regardless of vaccination status.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

There's been plenty written on travel rules for people coming to France - but what if you live in France and have plans for international travel over the coming months? We've got you covered.

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

France isn’t currently on the Covid red list for any country, so there is nowhere that is barred to you as a French resident, but different countries still have different entry requirements.

EU/Schengen zone

If you’re travelling to a country that is within the EU or Schengen zone then it’s pretty straightforward.

If you’re fully vaccinated then all you need is proof of vaccination at the border – no need for Covid tests or extra paperwork. Bear in mind, however, that if your second dose was more than nine months ago you will need a booster shot in order to still be considered ‘fully vaccinated’. 

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel to France from within the EU

If you were vaccinated in France then you will have a QR code compatible with all EU/Schengen border systems. If you were vaccinated elsewhere, however, your home country’s vaccination certificate will still be accepted.

If you’re not fully vaccinated you will need to show a negative Covid test at the border, check the individual country for requirements on how recent the test needs to be.

Bear in mind also that several EU countries still have mask/health pass rules in place and some countries specify the type of mask required, for example an FFP2 mask rather than the surgical mask more common in France. Check the rules of the country that you are travelling to in advance.

If you’re travelling to a country covered by The Local, you can find all the latest Covid rules in English on the homepages for Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

UK

The UK has no Covid-related travel rules, so there is no requirement for tests even if you are not vaccinated. The passenger locator form has also been scrapped – full details HERE.

Once there, there are no Covid-related health rules in place. 

If you’re travelling between France and the UK, remember the extra restrictions in place since Brexit.

USA 

Unlike the EU, the USA still has a testing requirement in place, vaccinated or not. You would need to show this prior to departure.

It has, however, lifted the restrictions on non citizens entering, so travel to the USA for tourism and visiting friends/family is once again possible.

For full details on the rules, click HERE.

Once there, most places have lifted Covid-related rules such as mask requirements, but health rules are decided by each State, rather than on a national level, so check in advance with the area you are visiting.

Other non-EU countries

Most non-EU countries have also lifted the majority of their Covid related rules, but in certain countries restrictions remain, such as in New Zealand which is reopening its border in stages and at present only accepts certain groups.

Other countries also have domestic Covid restrictions in place, particularly in China which has recently imposed a strict local lockdown after a spike in cases.

Returning to France

Once your trip is completed you will need to re-enter France and the border rules are the same whether you live here or not.

If you’re fully vaccinated you simply need to show your vaccination certificate (plus obviously passport and residency card/visa if applicable) at the border.

If you’re not vaccinated you will need to get a Covid test before you return and present the negative result at the border – the test must be either a PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours or an antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours. Home-test kits are not accepted.

If you’re returning from an ‘orange list’ country and you’re not vaccinated you will need to provide proof of your ‘essential reasons’ to travel – simply being a resident is classed as an essential reason, so you can show your carte de séjour residency card, visa or EU passport at the border.

Even if the country that you are in is reclassified as red or orange while you are away, you will still be allowed back if you are a French resident. If you’re not a French passport-holder, it’s a good idea to take with you proof of your residency in France, just in case.

Fully vaccinated

France counts as ‘fully vaccinated’ those who:

  • Are vaccinated with an EMA-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 booster shot if more than 9 months has passed since the final dose of your vaccine. If you have had a booster shot there is no need for a second one, even if more than 9 months has passed since your booster
  • Mixed dose vaccines (eg one Pfizer and one Moderna) are accepted 
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