On September 10th, the government of France issued a decree that removed the United States from the country’s “green” list, banning non-essential travel for unvaccinated travelers coming from the US. The decree became effective on September 12th.
France has become the latest European country, and top tourist destination, to remove the United States from its safe travel list, following European Union recommendations in the wake of a Covid-19 surge in the US, mainly in southern states.
On Monday September 20th, the Biden administration announced that it will remove the travel ban on citizens of 33 countries, including all European Union countries. This decision might in turn have an effect on the French decree and slight modifications could be seen the upcoming weeks.
1. Rules for vaccinated travelers coming from the US
Fully vaccinated travelers coming from the United States (as well as minor children under 17 accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian) will still be able to enter France with proof of vaccination and a sworn statement they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19.
Currently only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are accepted. Full vaccination occurs two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine, and four weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. No pre-departure Covid test or quarantine is required.
2. Rules for unvaccinated travelers coming from the US
Travelers coming from the United States who are not fully vaccinated will need to provide a compelling reason for travel through submission of an attention form; present a negative Covid-19 test, either a PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure or an antigen (rapid) test conducted within the 48 hours prior to departure; will be required to take another test upon arrival in France (and if that test is positive, may face a 10-day quarantine at the traveler’s expense); undergo a 7-day self-isolation period upon arrival; and take a PCR test at the end of the self-isolation period.
These travelers will also need to provide a sworn statement they do not have symptoms of Covid-19 nor contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19, and that they agree to the testing and self-isolation requirements. Children under 11 are exempt from testing.
3. Health Pass
French authorities have been accepting the CDC card as acceptable evidence of vaccination for entry into France, but it is not accepted as a French health pass required for domestic travel within France or to enter cultural sites, museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cafes, athletic facilities, medical offices and hospitals (except for emergencies), retirement homes, and some other facilities.
France’s move follows restrictions imposed on US travelers in other European destinations. Spain has also changed its entry policy for arrivals from the US, requiring them to have a certificate attesting full vaccination status.
Denmark and the Netherlands have also recently updated their restrictions, requiring proof of vaccination for travelers coming from the US. Meanwhile, Sweden has banned all arrivals from the United States regardless of vaccination status. Earlier this month, Italy began requiring all visitors to show proof of a PCR or Covid-19 antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
Many European travel destinations reopened their borders to Americans earlier this summer in hopes of attracting much-needed tourist dollars to boost economies. Some countries, including Germany, had already begun restricting access to Americans prior to the European Union’s recommendation