June 9, 2021 was an important date in France: health restrictions have been drastically reduced and many places are now opening up for tourists. Border controls are also easing.
And since June 16, 2021, Canada and the United States have joined the list of green countries: this is the end of the voluntary quarantine upon arrival in France and the obligation of compelling reasons to travel even without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of course, it is important to remember that for Canadians, a quarantine is still in effect when returning from international travel (as is the mandatory stay in a government-approved hotel). However, this should change very quickly according to recent statements by the Canadian Government. So there is hope in Canada too!
Conditions for entering France as of June 9, 2021
Until now, only European citizens were able to enter France if they could prove family or professional reasons and if they had completed a PCR test prior to arrival (and committed to a new test after arrival as well as a voluntary 7-day quarantine).
As of today, the French Government has divided countries into 3 zones to enter France.
Countries in the “green” zone are recognized as such when there is no:
- active virus circulation
- variants of concern identified
These countries are:
- European Space
- South Korea
- New Zealand
As of June 16, 2021, Canada and the United States have been added to the list of green countries.
Concretely, if you arrive from one of the countries in the green zone, you will not have to provide a PCR test if you are vaccinated.
However, if you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you will need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test that is less than 72 hours old. But you won’t have to undergo a random antigen test or perform a 7-day self-isolation.
Countries in the “orange” zone are recognized as follows:
- when there is active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions
- when there is no variants of concern
These countries are all those which are not in “green” and “red” zones, including:
- A majority of Africa
- A majority of Asia
Specifically, if you are arriving from an orange zone country – such as Canada – whether or not you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you will need to show proof of a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old (or negative antigen test less than 48 hours old).
However, if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least 14 days, you will not have to undergo a random antigen test or perform a 7-day self-isolation. You will not have to justify a compelling reason to visit France either.
If you are not vaccinated, these three rules will still apply.
The "red" countries
Countries in the “red” zone are recognized as such when there is:
- an active circulation of the virus
- the presence of variants of concern
These countries are:
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Sri Lanka
In concrete terms, if you arrive from a country in the red zone, the rules are the same whether you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or not:
- you will need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test less than 48 hours old
- you will be required to perform an antigen test upon arrival
- you must have a compelling reason to visit France
If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine controlled by the security forces (if you are vaccinated, you will have to undergo a 7-day self-isolation).
COVID-19 vaccines accepted by France
The proof of vaccination is only valid if it confirms a complete vaccination schedule has been done, which means:
- your arrival must be 2 weeks after the second shot for double shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca)
- 4 weeks after the shot for vaccines with a single shot (Johnson & Johnson)
- 2 weeks after the shot for people with a history of COVID-19 (only 1 shot required)
The vaccines accepted by France are those recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):
- Johnson & Johnson
These are vaccines that are also administered in Canada and the United States.
PCR or antigenic test
The test required for people from “orange” and “red” zone countries (and unvaccinated people from “green” zone countries) can be either:
The antigenic test can be performed more easily (and with much faster results) than the PCR test which is more… invasive:
So this is good news for making travel to France easier.
End of lockdown in France
As of June 9, 2021, France is easing out of the lockdowns, loosening its health restrictions.
Curfew shifted to 11 p.m.
The curfew is shifted from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (it will be permanently lifted as of June 30, 2021). In practical terms, this means that you will be able to enjoy restaurants, theatres and other places of entertainment to their full extent.
Bars and restaurants open indoors
Since May 19, the terraces of bars and restaurants are open at a 50$ capacity. From now on, they will be able to be open at full capacity (with tables of 6 people maximum).
Also, bars and restaurants will once again be able to welcome customers indoors (with a 50% capacity and tables of 6 people maximum). However, in this case, it will be necessary to show the vaccination record (paper or digital) before entering the building.
Cinemas, museums and shops
The capacity of cinemas will be extended to 65% and thanks to the shift in the curfew, evening screenings will be back!
In museums and non-essential shops and departments, social distancing will be reduced (one person every 4 m² instead of 8 m² previously).
The health pass
As of June 9, the health pass comes into effect. This pass includes proof of non-contamination with COVID-19, which is:
- a certificate of vaccination
- a negative PCR test
- a certificate of immunity issued by a physician
This document will be required to participate in events hosting more than 1,000 people, as well as to travel to and from Corsica and the French Overseas Territories.
From July 1st, the health pass will be recognized for travel within the European area in the form of a European certificate.
The certificate may include proof of vaccination, a negative test result or proof of recovery from COVID-19 less than 6 months old. States may also establish additional sanitary measures if they are necessary and proportionate (testing, quarantine, etc.).
The second dose in France
If you are a French person living in Canada, chances are you have already received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada (but are waiting for the second dose scheduled for this summer or in September-October 2021).
Please note that if you plan to travel to France, you can take your second dose on French territory. This is what we have just done 7 days after our arrival in France (and 6 weeks after the first Pfizer dose received in Montreal):
Since you are not registered in the system for the first dose, you will only need to show proof of your first dose in Canada.
You will then get a QR Code to enter in the AntiCovid application indicating that you are now fully vaccinated thanks to the second dose you got in France! The health pass is yours and you can start travelling again.
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