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Covid-19 - Restrictions to enter the French territory for travellers and transporters

In the face of the sanitary crisis caused by the Coronavirus, the French government has set up inspection measures at the national borders (terrestrial, aerial, maritime) for travellers and carriers entering the French territory.

These restrictions have been provided for depending on the provenance of the travellers or transporters.

Restrictions for countries within the European area 

The national borders with the European Union remain open.

However, as of 31 January 2021, travellers and transporters coming from the following countries must do an RT-PCR test at most 72 hours before departure in they want travel to or across the French territory, regardless of the type of transport they use (land, air or sea):

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

This measure does not apply:

  • To travels lasting less than 24 hours for cross-border workers and people living near borders in a 30 km radius from their accommodation.
  • To work-related travels, in the event they are of an importance and a frequency that      are incompatible with doing a PCR test.
  • To road transporters’ travels.

People eligible for one of these exceptions will need to prepare all documents that demonstrate their reason for travel.

Furthermore, on 16th December 2020, a curfew from 6p.m. to 6 a.m. has been set up across the entire territory of mainland France.

In this way, for all travels during the hours of the curfew (excluding work-related travels), travellers and transporters must carry an exemption certificate during curfew hours.

Said exemption certificate must be presented along with an ID document and any digital or paper document that give justification of the travel.

As for work-related trips during the curfew hours,the workers will need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) filled by the employer without needing to carry the exemption certificate.

In addition, all travellers and carriers going to France are expected to check with their ministry the restrictions applied to them upon return to their country of origin.

 

Restrictions for the United Kingdom

As of 22 December 2020, only a few categories of people are allowed to travel to or across France from the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, in order to enter the territory, travellers or transporters coming from the United Kingdom must match one of the following compelling reasons:

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

Prior to boarding, they must also show to the transport company staff (air, sea or rail):

  • 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 travel certificate.
  • A screening test performed within 72 hours of the boarding time showing negative results.
    In the event you cannot get a PCR test done, negative results from an antigenic test reacting to the VUI-2020-12-01 variant will also be accepted. The French Ministry of Solidarity and Health has published a list of acceptable tests on its website.
  • A solemn undertaking 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.

Upon arrival in France,travellers and transporters will be subject to the local restrictions.

In this way, for all travels during the curfew hours (excluding work-related travels), travellers and carriers must carry an exemption certificate during curfew hours.

Said exemption certificate must be presented along with an ID document and any digital or paper document that give justification of the travel.

Regarding work-related trips during the curfew hours,the workers will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) filled by the employer without being required to carry the exemption certificate.

 

Restrictions for non-EU countries

As of 31 January 2021, entering or leaving the French territory are forbidden for travellers coming from or going outside of the European Union, unless it is for one of the following reasons:

  • 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.

Furthermore, they will need to obtain before departure:

  • An RT-PCR virologic test performed within 72 hours of the boarding time showing negative results.
    All travellers coming from countries where they can get a virologic test done within the 72 preceding departure will have the obligation to present their test results to flight companies before departure. They will need to provide a solemn undertaking 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.
  • Travellers coming from countries where it is not possible to get a screen test done within the 72 hours preceding departure will need to request a consular pass and will be directed towards the sanitary reception to get a PCR test done upon arrival. 
    They will also be obliged to stay in isolation for seven days in a structure designated by the government authorities.
  • A sworn statement declaring that they do not display any symptoms of the Covid-19, and that, as far as they are aware, they have not been in contact with a person diagnosed positive to the Covid-19 within the fourteen days preceding the travel.

Upon arrival in France,travellers and carriers will be subject to the local restrictions.

In this way, for all travels during the curfew (excluding work-related travels), travellers and hauliers must carry an exemption certificate during curfew hours.

Said exemption certificate must be presented along with an ID document and any digital or paper document that give justification of the travel.

As for work-related trips during the curfew hours,the workers will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French only) filled by the employer without the need to carry the exemption certificate.

 

Restrictions to enter and travel in Corsica

Regarding the restrictions to go to Corsica:

In order to travel to Corsica, performing a PCR or antigenic test within 72 hours of departure is compulsory since 19th December 2020. This sanitary provision, which should have ended on Friday 8 December, has been extended by a month.

Moreover, all travellers will have to provide a sworn statement that they have done the compulsory test to the transport company.

In this document, travellers will also need to guarantee that they do not show any symptoms of the Covid-19, and that, to their knowledge, they have not been in contact with cases tested positive to the Covid-19 within 14 days prior to their trip. 

An exemption is nonetheless provided for road transporters, to these restrictions do not apply.

Regarding the restrictions to circulate in Corsica:

As of December 15, 2020, circulation is now allowed, but a curfew between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. is in application across the entire territory of Corsica.

In this way, for all travels (excluding work-related travels) between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., travellers and transporters must carry an exemption certificate during curfew hours.

Said exemption certificate must be presented along with an ID document and any digital or paper document that give justification of the travel.

For work-related trips during the curfew hours,the workers will only need to carry a business trip certificate (in French) filled by the employer without having to carry the exemption certificate.

 

Restrictions to enter the French overseas territories

As of 31 January 2021, travellers who wish to go to one of the territories in the following list will only be authorized if they follow one of the accepted compelling reasons for travel:

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

In addition, said travellers will need to present negative results to a screening test performed less than 72 hours before departure, regardless of the country they are coming from. 

Finally, depending on the local epidemiological situation, more restrictions may be implemented depending on each territory’s prefectorial orders. 

Useful links: 
 

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