What are the New Travel bans France announced?

We don’t know much about the Omicron variant yet, but early reports suggest it may be more contagious than other variants.    

As a result, France suspended flights from seven African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Flights from these countries will resume from December 4, but only for travellers with French or European citizenship or permanent residence or diplomats. Travel for tourism, family visits or study from these countries is completely suspended. Malawi, Zambia and Mauritius are also subject to the new rules, which began on December 4.  

Travellers from the U.S. can still visit France, but only if they are vaccinated or have a good reason. Note, however, that France is listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Covid-19 risk assessment level 4, which is considered very high. 

This means that travellers should avoid travelling to France as much as possible. CDC health risk levels while travelling are based on data from the World Health Organization and other official sources, including cumulative new cases, test scores, and test case reports for the past 28 days.  

Do you need a negative Covid test for your next trip?

 Request a pre-flight COVID-19 test and lab report at least 5 days before your flight. Requirements to enter France from the U.S. If you are vaccinated: you must show a negative PCR test result or a rapid Covid-19 antigen test taken within 48 hours before departure. Previously, the government assumed proof of vaccination was sufficient, but now, a negative test will also be required under a new rule that came into effect on December 4.    

You must also certify in a sworn letter that you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 and that you have not been exposed to a confirmed case in the 14 days before travelling to France.

 Under this rule, anyone travelling to France must submit a negative PCR or antigen test result within 24 or 48 hours before departure, depending on the country of origin. France has classified the U.S. as an “amber” country, meaning active transmission of the virus, and travellers must test negative within 48 hours before departure. The CDC card is accepted as proof of adequate vaccination to enter France. 

Upon arrival, all vaccinated passengers must also undergo systemic antigen or PCR testing, although there are no quarantine measures.    

If you’re not vaccinated: Since the U.S. is classified as an “amber” country, travellers from the U.S. can only enter France if they have a “good reason”. If you fall into one of these categories, you must complete this travel certificate. You will also need to present a negative antigen or PCR test result within 48 hours of departure. The same affidavit is required for vaccinated travellers, and unvaccinated travellers must undergo a systemic antigen or PCR test on arrival, then self-isolate for 7 days, followed by a test at the end of the period.   

If you are not vaccinated but have previously recovered from Covid-19: You can only travel to France if you have a good reason. Instead of providing a negative test for Covid-19, you have the option to give a certificate of cure dated more than 11 days and less than six months before the date of travel. However, upon arrival in France, you may be randomly tested and have to self-isolate for seven days.  

It is essential to keep in mind that the current situation is evolving, and the French government may introduce new restrictions at any time. Please refer to the France Diplomacy website for the latest information. France requires everyone, including visitors and foreign residents, to present a health pass (health pass in French) to access certain events and locations to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. 

If you’re a tourist, you might think you won’t need this pass, but without it, you won’t be able to eat at restaurants (including their terraces), go to the movies, go to festivals and concerts, go to museums, or long-distance transport journeys such as like trains.  

Failure to issue a valid medical card may result in EUR 135 for the first violation, with a surcharge for each subsequent offence. The health passport consists of a vaccination certificate, a negative test certificate or a certificate of recovery in both paper and digital formats in the TousAntiCovid app. 

Visitors can obtain a French Medical Pass by presenting their passport and original paper-based vaccination certificate at a qualified pharmacy. By law, getting medical access cannot cost more than 36 euros.  

When should I use a Covid test at home?

 Entering France is only half the journey; there are also entry requirements to return to the United States, even if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.    

The new travel restrictions went into effect on December 6, requiring all travellers aged 2 and over travelling to the United States to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within one day of their flight. Unlike previous requirements that allowed longer working hours for vaccinated travellers, this new requirement applies equally to all passengers, regardless of vaccination status. PCR or antigen test is currently accepted as evidence of a negative result for Covid-19. 

The test requirement includes passing within one calendar day and is not limited to 24 hours before departure. This means that passengers can take the test at any time during the day before departure, regardless of the flight departure time.    

Any passenger who has recently recovered from Covid-19 may provide documentation of their recovery to bypass the test requirement. The accepted recovery documentation includes a letter from a licensed healthcare provider stating that the passenger is authorized to travel and a positive test result for the Covid-19 virus within 90 days of departure. There are currently no new quarantine restrictions. 

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