Traveling in France during COVID-19

The COVID-19 remains present in France and worldwide. It is therefore very important that everyone remains alert and respects both the barrier measures and the remaining restrictions. While the 2nd lock down in France has been lifted since December 15th, a curfew is in effect from 6pm to 6am on France metropolitan territory. As travel out France is not subject to any restriction from the French government, this article would introduce you about the rules and regulation if you travel to France during COVID-19. And if you are going to travel out France, make sure you check the restrictions that your destination sets. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to help you handle your travel needs by email ( or by phone (New York : +1 212 243 3500, Paris : + 33 1 44 06 08 70).

For more information, you can check the official website of the French gouvernement in English or in French.

COVID-19 in France

France has confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the country. Between January 24, 2020 and July 27,2020, there have been more than 180,500 confirmed cases in France. The last indicators, as of Jan 3rd 2021, show more than 4,000 new cases in 24h and a positivity rate of 5.4%.

A nightly curfew is currently in force in metropolitan France. Between 8PM (or 6pm) and 6AM, you may only leave your residence for the following reasons and with an exemption certificate:

  • Commuting to and from work, school or training place; carrying out essential business trips that cannot be postponed;
  • Medical appointments that cannot be carried out remotely or postponed;
  • Essential family reasons, assisting vulnerable persons, persons in a precarious situation or taking care of children;
  • Persons with a disability and their accompanying person;
  • Judicial or administrative summons;
  • Participating in a mission of general interest upon request from an administrative authority;
  • Air or rail transit related to long distance journeys;
  • Walking a pet outdoors within 1km of one’s place of residence and for a brief amount of time.

If you do not respect these rules, you may be liable for a €135 fine.


Work from home is encouraged as much as possible. If you cannot work from home, shift schedule are recommended.


All schools from kindergarten to high schools will remain open during lockdown, face masks are compulsory for all children above the age of 6.

All university lectures will be by videoconference and libraries will be accessible only with an appointment.

Shops and Venues

The situation is reevaluated every 15 days and cultural services hope to open mid-January:

  • Shops and services, including public libraries, are now open.
  • Bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums and gyms remain closed.
  • Public services remain open.
  • Places of worship may open.

You must wear a mask in all venues.

Travel to France

Who can travel to France and How

There are no restrictions for travel to Metropolitan France from the European space (European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marina, Switzerland, Vatican) and the following countries: Australia, South Korea, Japan, New-Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Singapor.

Because of the new Variant of Covid-19 detected in Great-Britain, at least until January 6th, the flow of travelers coming to France from Great Britain is limited. The categories of people that can travel are: French nationals, British nationals residing in France or in the EU and people who travel for professional reasons. Travelers need a traveling attestation (download here) and a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours.

Conditions to Travel to France

Travelers coming from other countries need to have a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours. They need to self-quarantine for 7 days after arrival in France and do a second PCR test at the end of the 7 days. Those that come from countries where PCR test are not available, will ask for an exemption at the French Consulat and will be tested at arrival. They will be quarantined at a location designated by the authorities.

Foreigners with a valid residence permit, including a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit, as well as their partner and children, can enter France. In limited cases (particularly the transport of goods), foreigners with a short-term visa may be authorized to enter France. Those whose permit has been lost or stolen can request a return visa from the competent diplomatic or consular post. Documents authorizing a stay in France which would have expired on 16 March 2020 and 15 June 2020 have been extended for six months.

To enter France, you must fill out and carry with you two documents:

  • The exempted movement certificate for Metropolitan France which can be downloaded on the Ministry of the Interior’s website. You must present this certificate to travel companies before using your travel ticket, as well as to border control authorities (for travel by air, sea, and land, including by rail).
  • A declaration that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms (included in the same document)

(All these documents can be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior’s website).

Upon arrival

Health checks upon entry into the French overseas territories are adapted for each territory. 

Traveling in France

If you are going to travel within metropolitan France, you may travel freely. Please travel responsibly and consider whether your trip is necessary. You must always wear a mask on public transport, on public closed spaces and even on outdoor public areas in some cities.

Leaving France

Internal European borders remain open but with some exceptions external borders are closed. All travellers arriving in France will be tested at airports and ports.

Find more information about travel to France on the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Masks must be worn at all times in public transport.

U.S. citizens may depart France to return to the United States at any time. Anyone transiting through France to reach the United States must have an attestation. (French version here, and English version here). You do not need an endorsement from the Embassy for this attestation. 

Only direct transit to reach your country of residence is permitted. Transiting passengers may not leave the international zone and will not be admitted to France. Luggage must be checked through to your destination. You will not be permitted to leave the international zone to collect and recheck baggage. The duration of transit must be less than 24 hours. As of June 15, French borders with other European Union member states are open. Check the European Union’s website for more information regarding travel within the Europe Union.

If you need more information or to help you handle your travel needs, Frenchway is ready to assist you, don’t hesitate to contact us by email ( or by phone (New York : +1 212 243 3500, Paris : + 33 1 44 06 08 70).

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