COVID-19 Travel : French Version

This post was most recently updated on August 14th, 2021

Please check back often as this will be updated when rules and regulations are updated nationally and internationally. 

Know Before You Go : United States to France

France is still a Level 3 by the CDC; it is only recommended for fully vaccinated persons to travel to France at this time. Here’s some information from the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs about traveling to France. 

If you are planning on being in France for less than 90 days, you do currently not need a visa for your stay. 

Now that borders have opened up, here’s where you can go as an American citizen. (This is from the New York Times and may be under a paywall.)

U.S. Department of State for France : Travel Updates. Good idea to check on a semi-regular basis to be the most up to date. 

Here’s what the CDC has to say about international travel. 

Better check how your passport is doing. It seems there is a bit of a back up in the processing department. 

Here is the slip you will need to fill when traveling to France. You will be asked for this at the customs counter. 

It is best to check with the airlines(s) you will be traveling with what they require in order to board the plane on top of what is required by the country you are visiting. 

Making the most out of your stay

Here are the current regulations, as updated on the French Government’s website. 

Health Passports

As of July 21, health passport are required for certain activities. Currently they are needed if you want to access any cultural or leisure spaces (museums, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, monuments and other public spaces). The health passport is still needed for festivals, night clubs, and sporting events where there are 1000 or more people. 

On August 1, 2021, this list will grow to include bars, restaurants, cafés, shopping centers and medical facilities. It will also be necessary if you are traveling long distances by bus or by train. 

What is the health passport? 

The health passport is a QR code that shows three possible situations : 

  1. Vaccination status.
  2. Results from a recent negative Covid test. 
  3. Recent recovery from Covid itself.

What do I do with it ?

The “passport” is either digital or physical. It comes in the form of a QR code.

This code has all the information of your vaccination and/or test results. When you receive your code, you can either keep the piece of paper tucked away safely at the ready or you can flash the code with your phone and upload it to the TousAntiCovid app. 

If you go the Covid test route, know that the test results are only valid within the application for 48 hours. Then you will need to take another test and upload the new results then.

The QR code that is generated in either of the three circumstances will contain the following information :

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Type of vaccination
  • Date of last vaccination 
  • Lot number of vaccination
  • Results of PCR /antigen test
  • Justification of positivity for Covid.

I’m not French, help !

For those of you visiting and have not been vaccinated in France (or the EU), have no fear !

If you are coming from within the EU, your vaccination certificate or tests will come with a QR code that can be used with ease in France. If you are coming from the UK, the French government has accepted the NHS vaccination certificate on the NHS app. You can upload this on the TousAntiCovid app or simply show the paper copy.

If you are coming from outside the EU ( aka USA or Canada), things are a little tricky. US is on the green list, so you do not need a covid test if you are fully vaccinated for entry into the country. You need only to show your vaccine certificate if you are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after your 2nd shot) : paper or digital format. This will need to be compliant with WHO standards and approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency). It will contain your name, date, lot number and type of vaccine that was administered. 

UPDATE: AUGUST 12, 2021 : The government has come out with a process to obtain a French QR code for the TousAntiCovid app by submitting the vaccination card for examination. If you are going to or in France on or before AUGUST 15, 2021, you can go here and follow to process to submit your application to request the exchange. Please check the France Diplomacy website for any updates to this process. 

 

UPDATE : JULY 27, 2021 : Please visit this insightful post about converting the CDC vax card to a health pass. There is talk that the vaccine centers are no longer converting; nothing officially released either way from the government. Know that this system and the processes and procedures are being updated and changed quite frequently. It is best to check the information at every step of the way. We have another round of updates for August 1 and will hopefully have more pin-pointed information then and in the weeks that follow. 

You can get access to the health passport here in France by visiting any place that administers the vaccine and have them give you an equivalent with the presentation of your vaccination certificate. The best to look for is a pharmacy, but not all pharmacies have access to this capability, so do some research before you head out the door. This is not widely known yet, so many pharmacies not be aware of this, please be patient. If you are lucky, a pharmacist should be able to take the information that is on your vaccine certificate, put that into the system, and then you should be presented with a QR code that you can upload to the TousAntiCovid app if you like. 
(Know that this might still be the case, but the government has come up with an exchange solution. I have decided to keep this information in this post, but strike it out, because you never know what may be possible if you happen to try).

It’s a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. Figure out where you want to go and check online to see if there are any time slots available. 

With the current restrictions in place, most museums and cultural spaces are only accepting pre-booked tickets. Thankfully you can book time slots and buy tickets on the respective websites. You’ll just need to download your ticket before you get to your destination.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with national and local rules in concern with Covid. 

  • Masks are still required in indoor public spaces (shops, offices, restaurants, etc.), on public transportation, and where social distancing is not possible (open-air market, in a line, train stations, etc.)
  • Social distancing is expected when possible. 
  • Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer where necessary. 

Returning Home : France to the United States

Here’s what the CDC says about entering the USA from a foreign county. 

Here’s information on the attestation that you will need to fill out when returning to the Unite States. 

Here’s information from the CDC about the requirements for proof of a negative Covid-19 test for re-entry into the USA. 

Where to go to get a PCR / antigen test 72 hours before your flight in Paris. It is best to book these as soon as you can, the earlier the better, to ensure you have a secured spot and the results in time. 

  • Bookings for tests at Orly and Charles De Gaulle airports.
  • Bookings for the American Hospital in Paris. 
  • Options through sante.fr website for places in Paris. You must make a rendez-vous. (this will be in French).