France travel guide: everything you need to know as the country reopens

The world’s most-visited country has reopened to fully inoculated travellers, including those from the UAE, but the Sinopharm jab is not accepted

France is reopening to vaccinated tourists from some countries from today. Anthony Delanoix / Unsplash
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

France is reopening to vaccinated tourists. The European country is ready to welcome visitors and has implemented a traffic light travel classification system.

From Wednesday, there will be no restrictions on vaccinated travellers arriving in France from a green country. Those coming from orange destinations will not have to quarantine and can travel for leisure purposes again.

Travellers coming from destinations on France's red list remain heavily restricted and cannot yet visit the country for a holiday.

Who can travel to France?

Tourists from green countries and vaccinated travellers from orange destinations no longer need an essential reason to visit France, meaning holidays are allowed again. Ewein Van Bergeijk / Unsplash

France's traffic light system divides countries into three tiers with different rules for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers in each of these categories.

France is allowing travellers to visit from green countries if they are fully vaccinated, without any additional testing requirements. Non-vaccinated visitors from green destinations can travel to France for tourism purposes, but will have to complete a Covid-19 PCR or rapid antigen test no more than 72 or 48 hours, respectively, before departure.

From orange countries, vaccinated travellers also need to show proof of a negative test result. Non-vaccinated travellers cannot travel to France for leisure reasons; they must have an essential reason to visit and will face seven days home quarantine, plus testing requirements.

Travellers from red countries – including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – are still largely restricted. Fully vaccinated passengers from red destinations need an essential reason to visit, must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test, undergo on-arrival health checks and self-isolate for a week. Non-vaccinated travellers from red countries face the same rules with 10 days of quarantine.

Children under 11 years old from any destination are not required to take Covid-19 tests or prove vaccination status.

Which countries are on France's green list?

Spain is one of several countries from the EU and Schengen Area included in France's green list. Unsplash

There are a total of 38 countries on France's Green List, including every EU country.

From Thursday, July 1, France will also accept the EU travel pass for travellers coming from across the union.

  • 26 EU member states
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Lichtenstein
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Lebanon

Which countries are on France's orange list?

The UAE is ranked orange by French authorities, but the Sinopharm vaccine, which was widely used across Abu Dhabi, is not recognised. Nick Fewings / Unsplash

​​​​​All countries not listed as red or green are considered orange by French authorities. The UAE is currently listed in this category, as is the UK and the US. This classification of countries can change depending on the spread of Covid-19 and variants in each country, and updates will be listed here.

Vaccinated travellers from orange countries can travel freely to France for a holiday, and won't need to spend seven days in obligatory quarantine after arrival. However, they will need to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result or negative rapid antigen test.

Unvaccinated travellers from orange destinations can only travel to France if they have an essential reason, and must show a negative Covid-19 test result and undergo seven days of self-quarantine.

Which countries are on France's red list?

India is one of several red-listed countries from where leisure travel to France is not yet allowed. Ravi N Jha / Unsplash
  • South Africa
  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay

Travellers cannot fly to France for holidays from red-listed destinations, even if they are fully vaccinated.

What vaccines does France recognise?

France is accepting travellers who have vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, namely Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Travellers must have proof of full vaccination completed at least 14 days before travel. Despite being approved by the World Health Organisation for emergency use, Sinopharm is not accepted as a valid vaccine in France at this stage.

Which airlines are flying from the UAE to France?

Emirates is flying daily to Paris, and will launch flights to Lyon and Nice in July. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates flies its A380 superjumbo daily to Paris. The Dubai airline is also launching flights to Nice from Friday, July 2, and to Lyon from Friday, July 9. Air France also flies to Dubai.

From Abu Dhabi, travellers can fly non-stop to Paris with Etihad.

What restrictions are in place in France?

Face masks must be worn in all public places. Ewein Van Bergeijk / Unsplash

From Wednesday, June 9, a curfew has been pushed back to 11pm and indoor cafes and restaurants can reopen with capacity limits. By Wednesday, June 30, authorities hope to remove the curfew completely. Mask-wearing remains mandatory in public places, indoors and outdoors.

What's the Covid-19 situation in France?

France has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and has the fourth-highest number of total cases in the world, only behind the US, India and Brazil.

The French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Sunday that the Covid-19 situation was improving, but he had concerns about the Delta variant of the virus, first identified in India.

What can I see and do in France?

As the world's most-visited country for tourism, there's no shortage of places to go and things to do in France. Kevin Bessat / Unsplash

There are many reasons that France is the world's busiest tourist destination – it's home to several major landmarks, world-class art and culture, amazing coastlines and stunning countryside.

Paris, the City of Love, is a must-do and visiting in summer when there are fewer crowds is set to be truly special. Outside France's capital, there is plenty to see and do. Enjoy the glam of the French Riviera, head to Lyon for its rich history or enjoy the rural countryside, dotted with quintessential, quaint villages and gorgeous green landscapes.