Coronavirus in France

France has been severely touched by the coronavirus epidemic. The French government took strict measures in order to limit the spread of the virus in the population, as the establishment of a curfew (until 20 June), a 4-step lockdown exit plan and a "health pass" to facilitate border crossings and access to certain high-volume activities.

Gradual exit from lockdown in France

After strict restrictions in April, the French government has announced new rules throughout metropolitan France from 3 May:

First Stage: 3 May 2021

  • End of daytime attestations and movement restrictions
  • The curfew remains from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am and you must justify any travel during the curfew with a compulsory certificate (examples: commuting to and from work, to a professional training course, or to a business trip that cannot be postponed; imperative family reasons, medical reasons, take part in missions of general interest at the request of the administrative authority,people with disabilities, walk a pet around your home).
  • Reopening of middle and high schools. Childcare centres and grade schools have already reopened the 26th of April.
  • Only businesses selling goods and services of first necessity are authorised to open along with bookstores, record shops, hardware shops, plant and flower shops, hairdressers, shoe shops, chocolate shops, car dealerships, and real estate agents.
  • Cinemas, theatres, museums, restaurants and cafés are closed ;
  • Reception of the public in sports centres, circuses, zoos, gambling halls and casinos are prohibited ;
  • Remote working should be systematised wherever possible ;
  • Meetings of more than six people are not permitted on the street : 
  • physical distance of 2 metres must be maintained between two people who are not wearing masks ;

Second Stage: 19 May 2021

  • Curfew pushed to 9:00 pm (until 6:00 am)
  • Reopening of shops, terraces, museums, cinemas and theatres with limited attendance (800 people indoors and 1000 people outside), and the implementation of adapted protocols
  • Reopening of outside seating of cafes, bars, and restaurants with the limitation of 6 people per table maximum
  • Public gatherings of 10 people will be allowed, replacing the current 6 person limit
  • Reopening of outdoor and indoor sports facilities for spectators (800 people indoors and 1000 people outside)
  • Resumption of outdoor and indoor sports activities
  • Telework remains

Third Stage: 9 June 2021

  • Beginning of 11:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew
  • Reopening of indoor seating of cafes and restaurants with the limitation of 6 people per table
  • Places of culture and sports facilities can host up to 5000 people (subject to a health pass)
  • Foreign tourists welcome (subject to a health pass)
  • Reopening of exhibitions and trade shows, conditional on the respect of adapted safety gauges and protocols for each place and activity, with a maximum capacity of 5000 people (subject to a health pass)
  • Reopening of gyms, expansion to outdoor contact sports and indoor noncontact sports, subject to the respect of adapted safety gauges and protocols for each place and activity
  • Telework rules will be relaxed

The French government lifted the curfew on June 20, 10 days before the original date.

Fourth Stage: 30 June 2021

  • Participation in gatherings of more than 1000 people outside and indoors allowed (subject to a health pass)
  • End of gauge limits according to the local sanitary situation in establishments open to the public
  • Maximum public limit will be adapted according to the event and the local health situation
  • Maintenance of protective measures and social distancing
  • Discotheques will remain closed

These national measures may be tempered by “emergency brakes” in territories where the virus is widely circulating (incidence rate of more than 400 infections per 100.000 inhabitants,  rapid increase of the rate and risk of intensive care unit saturation).

The health pass in France

In France, a health pass has been in effect since June 9. It allows you to prove either your vaccination, or that you are not a carrier of COVID-19 thanks to negative results of a PCR or antigen test, or that you have recently recovered from the disease thanks for example to a positive test of more than 11 days and less than 6 months.

It makes it easier for you to travel within the EU and to attend certain events bringing together a large number of people.

In France, you have to present a health pass:

  • Today. For concerts and all cultural venues with more than 1,000 people and for travel outside French borders.
  • From 21 July: in all leisure and cultural venues with more than 50 people. This means amusement parks, concerts, festivals, museums, theaters and cinemas.
  • From the beginning of August: in "cafés", restaurants, hospitals, old people's homes, social medical institutions and in long-distance transport, i.e. travel by plane, train and bus. 

What are the conditions for entering and leaving France?

The conditions for entering or leavin France will depend on your country of departure and your vaccination status.

A list of countries of departure has been drawn up on the basis of the health indicators. The lists of countries can be altered based on changes in the epidemic situation. Depending on the colour of the country (green, orange or red) you are visiting or from which you are returning, there are more or less strict rules to follow. 

More information on the government website.

Good to know : From 18 July, non-vaccinated travellers arriving from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Greece and UK must present upon boarding a negative PCR or antigenic test taken less than 24 hours before departure.