France has recently added the United States to the countries on the “green” list, which in turn will simplify entry requirements for US travelers. A “green” country is considered a territory with negligible or moderate circulation of the virus, in the absence of emerging variants of concern. The most current list of “green” countries includes the EU, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, South Korea, among others.
Fully vaccinated are now allowed to enter the country by showing their proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers may enter if they show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure or proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of their departure. Or else, travelers may show proof they contracted Covid-19 and recovered within six months of their trip.
The country’s Prime Minister Jean Castex recently tweeted that the use of the vaccination pass is now suspended, and that the use of mask has also been lifted. The vaccination pass used to be required to access public places such as restaurants, cafes as well as long-distance trains. The new rules came into effect a few weeks after France removed the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers.
The list of green zone countries or territories may change as the global epidemic situation evolves in the countries or territories. “Orange” countries are defined as territories experiencing active circulation of the virus, in the absence of an emerging variant of concern and showing no vaccine or immune escape.
The vaccination schedule is considered complete 28 days after receiving one dose of Janssen vaccine, seven days after a second dose of other vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (namely Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield) and, for persons who have received all the required doses of a WHO-licensed vaccine not approved by the European Medicines Agency, seven days after receiving an additional dose of a duly approved mRNA vaccine.
Since 1 February 2022, in order for their vaccination schedule to continue to be recognized as complete, persons aged 18 years or older wishing to enter French territory must have received a booster dose of messenger RNA vaccine no later than nine months after receiving the last mandatory dose.
From February 12, 2022, the following rules apply at borders:
- For travelers vaccinated within the meaning of European regulations, no more tests is required on departure. Proof of a complete vaccination schedule becomes sufficient to arrive in France, regardless of the country of origin, as was the case before the distribution of the Omicron variant.
- For unvaccinated travelers, the obligation to present a negative test to travel to France remains, but the measures on arrival (test, isolation) are lifted when they come from countries on the “green” list, characterized by a moderate circulation of the virus.
- When unvaccinated travelers come from a country on the “orange” list, they must continue to present a compelling reason justifying the need for them to come to mainland France and may still be subject to a random test on arrival. Travelers who test positive will have to isolate themselves, in accordance with the recommendations of the Health Insurance.
In the event of an emergency characterized by the appearance of a variant likely to present a risk of increased transmissibility or immune escape, the “emergency brake” mechanism will be activated and the country will then be placed on the “red” list, implying, as is the case today, the obligation to present a compelling reason for traveling, the obligation to present a negative test on departure – including for vaccinated travelers in the event of a variant presenting the characteristic of an escape immune-, and the obligation to undergo a test on arrival conditioning the placement in quarantine decided by the prefects and controlled by the police.
Such classification will be temporary and reviewed regularly to ensure the proportionality of the travel restriction measures. Currently, no country is classified in the “red” list.