Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A Complete Guide to Travelling to France This Summer Amid COVID-19

For all those wishing to walk through the streets of France during this summer, visit the historic boulevards of Paris, kayak through the Gorges de Daluis, or enjoy the vineyards and lavender fields of Provence, it might be possible really soon as the latter plans to ease its restrictions from June 9.

Before starting to plan your trip to France, here’s an extended guideline of what you need to know.

France is among the European Union countries that have been keeping some of the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions since 2020. Although France opened the borders for visitors last summer, the country has been under lockdown thrice since then.

France went into its third national lockdown on April 3 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, and now the county is reopening again cautiously from the last lockdown.

Domestic travel restrictions have already been lifted since May 3, allowing the residents to travel within the country again.

Moreover, the national nightly curfew that has been effective since January 16 has been shortened from 9 pm to 6 am on May 19. It is anticipated that the curfew will be further pushed back from 11 pm to 6 am from June 9 and be entirely lifted by June 30.

Current Entry Restrictions for Travellers Outside EU

Travellers entering France from a country outside the EU for essential purposes are subject to a seven-day quarantine requirement at a location of their choice.

However, the restrictions are to be eased on June 9.

Those arriving from Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, Chile, Guinea, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Bahrain, Costa Rica and Uruguay are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 36 hours before travel and are subject to a ten-day quarantine.

Since May 31, all persons arriving from the UK are obliged to quarantine for seven days due to the concern regarding the Indian variant, which has been spreading rapidly in the nation.

Who Will Be Able to Enter France This Summer?

Currently, France is keeping relaxed entry restrictions for the EU and several other third countries, including here Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Except for the EU countries, arrivals from Europe’s microstates and Schengen Area countries – Andorra, Vatican City, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland – are also subject to more relaxed restrictions when entering France.

All persons from an EU or any other country mentioned above will be permitted entry to France provided that they present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure and a sworn declaration, which indicates that the person has no COVID-19 symptoms.

The testing requirement applies to all persons over the age of 11, and while in France, everyone should keep their mask on when on public transport or closed areas, keep the social distance as well as limit contact with other people.

The French authorities have revealed that they will provide PCR tests for free to all persons visiting the country this summer.

It is also expected that the French authorities will establish the so-called “traffic light” system before June 9, which will be based on the data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“Regarding countries that are outside the European area, we will work on lists and colours. There will be the green countries, orange countries and red countries,” Secretary of State at the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said.

Consequently, France will establish which countries can visit based on their epidemiological rate.

According to a declaration by French President Emanuel Macron, from June 9, restrictions will be relaxed for travellers who hold a COVID-19 passport, which should prove that the traveller has been vaccinated against the COVID-19 or has a negative test result.

No details on the specifications for the passport have been given yet by the French authorities.

“Pass Sanitaire” – France’s Version of EU COVID-19 Passport

Those travelling to France during the upcoming summer months will be able to prove their health status through the EU COVID-19 passport. The passport can be used in paper or digital format, and travellers will be able to pass the border by using the QR code that is labelled on the passport.

France has already become the first country in Europe to begin testing the Digital COVID-19 passport through an app.

While in France, if you have the vaccination passport’s QR code on your phone, it means that you have a “Pass Sanitaire”, which grants entry to various public events taking place in the country during this summer.

From June 9, those wishing to attend music concerts, large theatres, tennis tournaments at Roland Garros, festivals, large casinos or get on a cruise ship will be required to have the Pass Sanitaire.

Nonetheless, a Pass Sanitaire will not be required when visiting places where the public is on the move at all times and in the open air, including here the Eiffel Tower.

Travel Insurance – a Must for Every Traveller to France

It is highly suggested that all those planning to travel to France during this summer purchase extended travel insurance covering epidemic and pandemic situations to ensure that they get to save their money in case their trip gets cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation.

Before purchasing the travel insurance for France, everyone should check if it includes medical benefits and low deductibles for expenses, covers at least €50,000 of emergency medical expenses, and 250,000 of emergency evacuation coverage.

You can buy medical travel insurance protection for France at a very low cost from MondialCare, AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance.

What Will Be Open in France During This Summer?

Since May 19, museums and cinemas have opened up in France with a limited capacity. This means that the Musée D’Orsay, Louvre and several other sensational monuments such as Mont Saint Michel in Normandy are now open for tourists.

Spectators are permitted back into museums, arenas, monuments, theatres, auditoriums with a seated audience of a capacity of 800 persons when in indoor environments and 1,000 persons when in an outdoor area.

Restaurants, bars, and cafes are also allowed to serve at outside tables until the curfew time. However, since the curfew will be pushed back for two hours, from June 9, restaurants and bars of Paris will also be permitted to serve at tables in indoor environments. Still, only a maximum of six persons will be allowed per table. Non-essential shops will also open their doors again.

Other major sites will take longer to open for visitors. Disneyland Paris is expected to open for visitors with pre-booked tickets on June 17, and everyone will be required to keep their mask on.

The Eiffel Tower will open on July 16 and the Moulin Rouge on September 10. All those wishing to visit the Eiffel Tower should note that the number of visitors will be limited to 10,000 each day, and elevators will operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Visitors are still expected to wear masks in public indoor places such as hotel lobbies, museums, cinemas, as well as in the major streets of the city that are highly frequented, reports.

Current Coronavirus Situation in France

France is one of the hardest-hit European countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 5.7 million cases and 109,528 deaths as of June 1.

The COVID-19 cases were soaring earlier this year, but then the numbers dropped significantly during May. Nonetheless, the situation remains critical due to concerns regarding hospital capacities.

During the last seven days, France has reported 91 infections per 100,000 inhabitants

Until now, France has administered at least 36,079,378 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Assuming that each person needs two doses to be fully vaccinated, this means that around 26.9 per cent of the country’s population has been vaccinated.

Only during last week, France reported that an average of 485,984 doses had been administered each day. At this rate, it will take around 28 days to administer enough doses for another 10 per cent of the population.

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