Britain’s close neighbor and beloved short break destination saw a number of different rules imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At one point, amid the Omicron variant panic, France banned visitors to the UK altogether.
Now our continental neighbor has relaxed the rules for international visitors, meaning whether you’re on a city break to glorious Paris, heading to the Riviera for sun and sea, or diving into the vineyards, your French holiday will feel a lot easier than the last the months.
Here’s everything you need to know before you go.
Do I need proof of vaccination or a test to visit France?
No. From 1 August 2022, France has dropped all of its remaining Covid restrictions for travelers, meaning you no longer need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
However, the French government has reserved the right to apply an “emergency handbrake” and reintroduce these travel rules if Covid cases increase sharply. It’s worth checking the Foreign Office’s advice before you travel – but as of 1 August, the FCDO has yet to change its advice for France on its website.
Do I need to fill in a passenger search form for France?
No – as part of the August 1 end of Covid entry restrictions, France has now ended the passenger location form requirement. The Foreign Office (FCDO) has not yet updated its travel advice for this.
Do I need to wear a mask while on holiday in France?
Not currently, except in hospitals and other medical facilities.
The French government ended the requirement to wear masks on public transport on May 16, although the Foreign Office advises: “Some cities may require a mask on public transport”, so it’s worth bringing some just in case.
In early July, some in France called for tighter mask rules as cases increased. However, French government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire rejected the idea on June 29, telling the French channel. BFMTV: “The French people are tired of restrictions. We are sure that people will act responsibly.”
Do I need to show proof of vaccination for venues in France?
No. France ended the use of so-called “vaccine passports” in the country on March 14, 2022. They had previously required proof of full vaccination (a “pass sanitaire”) is shown at certain large events and indoor arenas.
The only places you need to show one pass sanitaire now hospitals and health facilities.
Has Brexit changed the rules for visiting France?
The rule changes that may confuse you on a visit to France in 2022 are more likely to be Brexit-related than Covid-related. Since the UK left the EU, there are new rules on the length and frequency of visits to countries in the Schengen area (including France), as well as rules around passport stamps and validity.
To visit an EU country after Brexit, your UK passport must be:
There is also now a time limit on how long and how often you can visit France, visa-free. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises: “You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa.
“To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you must meet the French government’s admission requirements.”
You must also get your passport stamped on arrival and on departure from the country. Make sure this happens at passport control to avoid confusion about how long you’ve been there.
You may also need to show a return or onward ticket to indicate when you are leaving France, and you may be asked to show that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay.