Covid-19 – Evolution of restrictions to enter the French territory

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Following the implementation of a second lockdown, restrictions to travel in and enter the French territory evolve.

Following the new measures provided by the French government in order to fight the Covid-19 virus, a decision was taken to implement inspections at the borders (terrestrial, aerial, maritime) for all travellers or transporters wishing to enter the French territory.

These restrictions will vary depending on the provenance of the travellers or transporters.

Travellers or transporters coming from countries of the European Zone

The internal borders of the European Union remain open. However, as of 31 January 2021, sanitary obligations must be fulfilled to enter or leave the French territory, regardless of what your means of transportation may be (terrestrial, maritime, aerial).

In this way, travellers and transporters will need to ensure that they follow the rules issued by the French government, and as of 27 January 2021, to do a PCR test within 72 hours of their departure in order to travel through or reside on the French territory when they originate from the following countries:

  • One of the EU member states,
  • Andorra,
  • Iceland,
  • Liechtenstein,
  • Monaco,
  • Norway,
  • San Marino,
  • Switzerland,
  • Vatican.

This obligation does not apply to:

  • Cross-border workers and people residing close to a border if they travel within a 30 km radius from their home and for less than 24 hours.
  • To work-related travels, in the event they are of an importance and a frequency that are not compatible with doing a PCR test.
  • Road transporters’ travels.

People fulfilling one of the aforementioned conditions will need to prepare all documents that demonstrate their reason for travel.

Furthermore, on 19th March 2021, a new curfew has been implemented on the entire French territory from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in order to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Consequently, travellers and transporters must carry a certificate of travel restriction waiver (in French and English).

This certificate will need to be prepared along with an ID document and any digital and/or paper document that provide the reason of the travel.

In the case of work-related trips, transporters and workers will need to use a business trip certificate (in French) provided by the employer.

Additionally, travellers and posted workers travelling to France are advised to check with their Ministry which restrictions they will have to abide by once they are back in their country of origin.

As of 3 May 2021, the first step of the restriction removal plan will begin, as announced by French President Emmanuel Macron on 29th April 2021.

In this way, the strengthened measures in application on the entire French territory will be lifted as of April 3. People will not be subject to the obligation to provide a certificate of travel restriction waiver during the day, and inter-regional travels will be allowed again.

The second step will begin on 19 May, and the curfew will change from a 7 p.m. start to a 9 p.m. start. It will then be pushed to an 11 p.m. start on 9th June 2021.

Finally, all restrictions in application will be suspended on 30 June 2021 with the removal of curfew.

Travellers or transporters coming from countries outside of the European Union

Restrictions to travel to and from a non-EU country

As of 31 January 2021, in order to enter the French territory, travellers and transporters coming from or going to countries outside of the European Union will need to fulfill one of the following conditions or they will be unable to travel:

  • A private compelling reason,
  • An urgent health-related compelling reason,
  • A work-related matter that cannot be postponed.

The people allowed to travel will need to present a sworn statement to their transport company, as well as all justificative supporting their reason for travel at the moment of boarding.

Furthermore, they will need to obtain the following documents before departure:

  • A sworn statement that they do not display any symptoms of the Covid-19, and that, to their knowledge, they have not been in contact with a person diagnosed positive to the Covid-19 within the fourteen days preceding the travel.
  • The results of an RT-PCR virologic test performed within 72 hours of the boarding time.

For travellers who come from a country where it is possible to get a screen test done within the 72 hours preceding departure, the results of the aforementioned test will be checked by airline staff before boarding.

In addition, they will need to provide a solemn undertaking in which they vow to stay in isolation for seven days upon arrival in France, and to get a second PCR test done at the end of this period.

For countries where it is not possible to get a screen test done within the 72 hours preceding departure will need to ask for a consular pass for compelling reason. Upon arrival, they will need to do a PCR test at the sanitary reception. They will then have to stay in isolation for seven days in an accommodation provided by the State.

Once they have reached the French territory, travellers or transporters will have to follow the sanitary instructions provided for by the local authority of the place where they stay.

In consequence, travellers and transporters will need to respect the hours of curfew among other things.

For all personal travels during the application of these restrictions, they will need to carry a certificate of travel restriction waiver (in French and English), as well as an ID document and any justificative that can provide reason for travel.

For work-related trips,  they will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) provided by the employer.

As of 3 May 2021, the first step of the restriction removal plan will begin, as announced by French President Emmanuel Macron on 29th April 2021.

In this way, the strengthened measures in application on the entire French territory will be lifted as of April 3. People will not be subject to the obligation to provide a certificate of travel restriction waiver during the day, and inter-regional travels will be allowed again.

The second step will begin on 19 May, and the curfew will change from a 7 p.m. start to a 9 p.m. start. It will then be pushed to an 11 p.m. start on 9th June 2021.

Finally, all restrictions in application will be suspended on 30 June 2021 with the removal of curfew.

Restrictions in place for Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore and South Korea

Travellers travelling from the countries in the following list will not be obliged to provide a compelling reason for travel anymore:

  • Australia,
  • Israel,
  • Japan,
  • New Zealand,
  • United Kingdom,
  • Singapore,
  • South Korea.

Therefore, travellers and carriers will need to provide their transport company (air, sea or rail) with the following documents prior to their departure:

  • A sworn statement that they do not display any symptoms of the Covid-19, and that, to their knowledge, they have not been in contact with a person diagnosed positive to the Covid-19 within the fourteen days preceding the travel.
  • A certificate of international travel.
  • A virologic test performed within 72 hours of the boarding time showing negative results.
  • A solemn undertaking to stay in isolation for seven days upon arrival in France, and then get a second PCR test done at the end of this period.

Once they have reached the French territory, travellers or transporters will have to follow the sanitary instructions provided for by the local authority of the place where they stay.

In consequence, travellers and transporters will need to respect the hours of curfew among other things.

For all personal travels during the application of these restrictions, they will need to carry a certificate of travel restriction waiver (in French and English), as well as an ID document and any justificative that can provide reason for travel.

For work-related trips,  they will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) provided by the employer.

On the other hand, travellers who travelled to a non-EU country that was not listed above within 14 days of their departure will need to provide a compelling reason for travel and respect the restrictions applied to travellers coming from countries outside of the European Space.

Special restrictions to travel to and from some non-EU countries

Following the emergence of new variants of the Covid-19, the travellers coming from one of countries listed below will be subject to special restrictions:

  • Argentina,
  • Bahrein,
  • Bangladesh,
  • Brazil,
  • Chile,
  • Colombia,
  • Costa Rica,
  • India,
  • Nepal,
  • Pakistan,
  • Qatar,
  • South Africa,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Turkey,
  • United Arab Emirates,
  • Uruguay.

In consequence, they must respect one of the following compelling reasons, or they will be unable to travel:

  • A private compelling reason,
  • An urgent health-related compelling reason,
  • A work-related matter that cannot be postponed.

The people allowed to travel will need to present a sworn statement to their transport company, as well as all justificative supporting their reason for travel at the moment of boarding.

Furthermore, they will need to obtain the following documents before departure:

  • A sworn statement that they do not display any symptoms of the Covid-19, and that, to their knowledge, they have not been in contact with a person diagnosed positive to the Covid-19 within the fourteen days preceding the travel.
  • The results of an RT-PCR virologic test performed within 36 hours of the boarding time.

In the event travellers cannot provide results from a test performed less than 36 hours before travel, they will have the option to present negative results of a PCR test done within 72 hours of departure, along with the negative results of an antigenic test performed less than 24 hours before departure.

Furthermore, travellers will also need to stay in isolation for ten days upon arrival on the French territory. There will be restrictions on the time periods during which they will be allowed to go out in the course of the isolation period.

Once they have reached the French territory, travellers or transporters will have to follow the sanitary instructions provided for by the local authority of the place where they stay.

In consequence, travellers and transporters will need to respect the hours of curfew among other things.

For all personal travels during the application of these restrictions, they will need to carry a certificate of travel restriction waiver (in French and English), as well as an ID document and any justificative that can provide reason for travel.

For work-related trips,  they will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) provided by the employer.

As of 3 May 2021, the first step of the restriction removal plan will begin, as announced by French President Emmanuel Macron on 29th April 2021.

In this way, the strengthened measures in application on the entire French territory will be lifted as of April 3. People will not be subject to the obligation to provide a certificate of travel restriction waiver during the day, and inter-regional travels will be allowed again.

The second step will begin on 19 May, and the curfew will change from a 7 p.m. start to a 9 p.m. start. It will then be pushed to an 11 p.m. start on 9th June 2021.

Finally, all restrictions in application will be suspended on 30 June 2021 with the removal of curfew.

Corsica – restrictions to enter and travel in the territory

Restrictions have also been set up in Corsica, which is subject to specific obligations to enter and/or travel around its territory.

Restrictions to enter Corsica

As of 19th December 2020, in order to enter Corsica, it is compulsory to do a RT-PCR test within 72 hours of departure.

Additionally, travellers will also provide their transport company with a sworn statement that they have indeed been tested.

An exemption is provided for road transporters: they are not subject to these restrictions.

Restrictions to travel in Corsica

As of December 15, 2020, travels are allowed inside Corsica. However, a curfew between has been set up between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. across the entire territory.

Consequently, for all personal travels during curfew hours, travellers and transporters must carry a certificate of travel restriction waiver (in French and English), as well as an ID document and all justificative that can provide reason for travel.

For work-related trips,  they will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) provided by the employer.

French overseas territories: restriction to go to and circulate in the territories

As of 31 January 2021, travellers and transporters need to be eligible for one of the motives decided by the Government in order to enter the following overseas territories:

  • French Polynesia,
  • Guadeloupe,
  • Martinique,
  • Réunion Island,
  • Mayotte,
  • Saint-Barthélemy Island,
  • Saint Martin,
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon,
  • Wallis and Futuna.

In addition, travellers and transporters will need to perform a virologic test within 72 hours of departure regardless of their country of origin.

Finally, more restrictions may be implemented depending on the local sanitary situation. Said restrictions may thus vary depending on the prefectorial orders issued in each territory.

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