Is it safe to travel to France?

You can now travel from the UK to France without needing to quarantine on arrival or on return. A French holiday is tempting with the stunning country being so close to the UK – you can get on the Eurostar, take the Eurotunnel, or fly. But is it risky to go on holiday to France?

The French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced today there will be stricter controls at the country’s borders.

This means those travelling to France from 16 specific countries will be subjected to compulsory COVID-19 testing.

The countries have not been listed, but the list is likely to include the US, Brazil, Israel, Algeria, Morocco.

While these rules won’t apply to UK travellers and citizens of countries on the EU safe list, the procedures make France a safer place for everyone.

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When you arrive in France, you are allowed to travel within the country.

However, those travelling from the UK to France will need to fill out a contact locator form before leaving France.

You’ll need to provide detailed information about your journey, where you will be staying in the UK, contact information and details of someone who can be contacted if you fall ill.

You can access the form online and fill it out on your phone to show at the airport, Eurostar or Eurotunnel, or you can print it out.

Is it safe to travel to France?

While death rates have fallen dramatically in France and the country is well past its peak of the virus, visiting France is not totally risk-free.

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Local authorities are concerned about spikes in the country.

Six areas of France are currently listed as being in a vulnerable position with lots of new cases being reported.

This includes Mayenne and the overseas French territories of French Guiana, Mayotte at an elevated level and Finistère, Gironde and Vosges at a moderate level.

There are approximately 500 new cases every 24 hours in the whole of France, so the country isn’t completely covid-free.

There is even talk of regional lockdowns being imposed if cases spike again.

If this happened while you were holidaying in an affected area of the country, you would be stuck there.

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What are the rules in France?

France began to ‘unlock’ on May 11, and each area or départment was categorised red, orange or green.

The colours indicate the extent to which measures are relaxed, and all départments in mainland France are categorised green at present.

It has been compulsory to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces since July 20, and this applies to everyone over 11.

You must also wear a mask on all forms of public transport.

Public spaces include:

• Public conference and meeting rooms
• Cinemas, theatre and enclosed entertainment venues
• Restaurants and bars (including those at altitude)
• Hotels and shared holiday properties (including those at altitude)
• Mountain huts/cabins
• Education and training establishments
• Games rooms, leisure centres and holiday parks
• Libraries and archives
• Places of worship
• Indoor sporting venues such as gyms (except for while participating in sporting activity), and some other open-air venues
• Museums
• Marquees and tents
• Public boats (including moored quayside bars/venues)
• Train and bus stations
• Shops and shopping centres
• Administrative buildings and banks
• Covered markets


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