Fully vaccinated travellers from EU countries will be able to enter France without taking a COVID-19 test from June 9, according to new rules unveiled on Friday by the French government.
However, fully inoculated visitors from the United Kingdom and the United States will still be required to produce a negative test result — although a previous requirement for them to quarantine will be removed, and non-essential travel will no longer be banned.
The UK and the US are classed as “orange” under a “traffic lights” travel system France is introducing, with countries categorised according to their health situations. Non-vaccinated visitors will need to provide a vital reason for entry, a negative test, and will also have to quarantine for seven days.
Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated arrivals into France from “orange” countries will have to provide either a negative PCR test of under 72 hours, or an antigen test taken no more than 48 hours previously.
“Green” countries include all EU countries as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Lebanon and Singapore. No vital reason for entry will be needed, and only non-vaccinated travellers will still have to take a PCR or antigen test of fewer than 72 hours.
For Europeans, travel should be facilitated from July 1 by a health pass integrating proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 of less than six months.
People considered to be fully vaccinated are those who have received their doses at least 14 days previously by the date of their journey, with either Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines. For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the timelag is four weeks.
Countries classed “red” under the French system include South Africa, Brazil, India and Turkey. Whether vaccinated or not, all visitors will need to provide a vital reason for entry, a negative test, and a quarantine period of seven to 10 days will be imposed upon arrival.
The UK, meanwhile, has come under fire for its decision to move Portugal from green onto its amber list from June 8, meaning arrivals into Britain including returning holidaymakers will have to quarantine for 10 days.
The Portuguese government said it could not understand the UK’s “logic”, while the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said the move would “crush the confidence to travel, depress forward bookings and deter holidaymakers”.
The British transport ministry cited “increased concern in the spread of variants of coronavirus, including a mutation of the Delta variant”.