How to travel to France this summer, what’s open and what to expect


For anyone who dreams of strolling the cobbled streets of Montmartre, running the windswept steps of Mont Saint Michel or kayaking through France’s answer to the Grand Canyon, the Gorges de Daluis in southern France, this could soon become a reality. Here’s a helpful guide to what’s open, what’s not, and what you need for travel.

When will France be open?

France currently has a relaxed border with seven countries around the world: Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore, which it brought into force on 12 March. The country is widely believed to open on June 9 to international travelers for non-essential travel.

Who will be allowed to visit?

If the country opens on June 9, it is not obvious that it will be open to everyone.

Currently, there is an EU-wide safety list, in which travelers are allowed to enter the EU if their country has less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The EU is expected to soon announce an expansion of this list of countries, expanding the list to include countries where the case rate is less than 75 cases per 100,000 population.

The EU has also asked its member countries to allow vaccinated travelers to travel, but it is up to individual countries to decide whether they will use additional travel restrictions. For example, requiring additional Covid-19 testing or quarantine.

For the unvaccinated, many countries have unilaterally decided when to open borders in recent weeks, some doing so before EU-wide decisions have been made. For example, Greece has already opened up to all travelers. Some decisions are confusing as they are not yet reciprocal – Spain open to British travelers on May 24 without a quarantine, but Spain is not on the UK’s safe list, meaning the British cannot travel to Spain without quarantining themselves on their return.

France will determine the countries to visit based on infection rates, vaccination rates and new variants. One source of concern, for example, is the so-called Indian variant Covid-19 which is on the rise in the UK and is believed to have delayed the broader EU decision to expand the list of safe countries. From May 26 it is planned to apply quarantine measures for all British arrivals in France, for example, to protect against the spread of this Indian variant of Covid-19, B.1.617.

How will arrivals be prioritized?

A traffic light system will be in place, probably launched before June 9. It will most likely be linked to data from ECDC, which operates a traffic light system on infection rates since the start of the pandemic.

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Told Europe 1, “Regarding countries outside the European zone, we will work on lists and colors. There will be the green countries, the orange countries and the red countries. When in a hurry, Lemoyne hinted in mid-May that there were only five or six countries on France’s green list at that time.

How can travelers prove their health?

Travelers will prove they are in good health with a digital European Covid certificate. This is actually the name of the certification process for every European country to prove that someone has had the virus on their own and recovered, had the vaccination, or had a negative Covid-19 test result.

The “ certificate ” can be on paper or via the application of an EU country (France’s application is called TousAntiCovid) and people cross borders using the QR code – provided on the original sheet of paper given to the person when they receive their vaccine or tests in the EU.

In France, having QR codes downloaded to your phone means you have a “Health PassWhich will allow you to participate in public events throughout the summer where it is likely that over 1,000 people will attend. As stated in The echoes, from June 9, it will be an integral part of the life of those who wish to attend tennis tournaments at Roland Garros or attend music concerts or major theaters. It will also be needed for cruises, festivals and at large casinos.

However, a Health Pass will not be necessary in places where the public is constantly moving in the open air, such as the Eiffel Tower. It will also not be needed in hotels or restaurants. however, government plans to unveil an addition to the TousAntiCovid app by June 9 where arrivals at a gym or hotel can scan their QR code recording the date and time of arrival. People will then be alerted if someone else has tested positive for Covid-19 and was in the same space at around the same time.

Will everything be open?

Museums and cinemas opened (not at full capacity though) on May 19, meaning the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and other spectacular landmarks such as Mont Saint Michel in Normandy are now open. Restaurants, bars and cafes are allowed to serve outside, but a curfew is still in effect until 9 p.m. nationwide.

From June 9, the day when Paris will begin to welcome external visitors, restaurants and bars will be able to serve on tables inside establishments and the curfew will be pushed back to 11 p.m. but still with no more than 6 people. on the same table.

However, other important sites will take longer. Disneyland Paris, as reported by Local, will open on June 17 but only with pre-booked tickets and anyone over 6 in a mask. The Eiffel Tower will open on July 16 and the Moulin Rouge on September 10 (both are the longest closures at the two sites since World War II). For the Eiffel Tower, the number of visitors will be limited to 10,000 each day (half of the pre-Covid levels) and the elevators will operate at 50% of their capacity.

Infection rates are expected to continue to decline and vaccination rates to continue to rise (France targets 30 million vaccinated by June 15) that all restrictions will be lifted on June 30 and the curfew will be lifted.

That said, visitors during the summer should always expect to wear masks in indoor public places (hotel lobbies, cinemas, museums, etc.) and on the main streets of major cities (fines may be imposed). by the police up to 135 €, the equivalent of 165 $).

France to offer free Covid tests to visitors

PCR tests for Covid-19 will be free for all tourists during the summer, as announced by Clément Beaune, French Minister of European Affairs. As stated in The New York Times, it makes sense to attract tourists who represent 8% of France’s GDP and help employ two million people. Beaune declared: “We need, we want, in good sanitary conditions, to remain the number one tourist destination in Europe and in the world. It is an economic problem for us. “


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