France is open for travel. It feels like we have been waiting a long time for this to come. At the beginning of June, France opened up to travel based on a color code system. After getting back from a week-long trip to Paris, France, I can tell you everything you will need to know.
The Color Coded System
France has prepared a color coded system for people looking to travel. You can travel there for tourism now. There are different guidelines so make sure you have prepared accordingly. If you are from the US, Europe opening up for some travel is a dream!
- Green List Countries: This is all of the EU/Schengen area and the EU safe list. Traveler’s from these countries can travel freely to France without testing requirements if you are vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated, you will need a 72 hour PCR test prior to your flight time departing to France.
- Orange List Countries: This is everyone except for the mentioned Red and Green list. The United States was technically on this list. Fully vaccinated travelers from this list will need a 72 hour PCR test prior to boarding for ages 11 and above. Children under 11 can travel with full vaccinated parents. If you are not vaccinated, you can only travel to France for this list of essential reasons and will be required to have the 72 hour test and quarantine for 7 days.
- Red List Countries: Currently this includes South Africa, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey and Uruguay. Only fully vaccinated travelers from this list will be allowed in for essential reasons and will need a 48 hour PCR test as well as quarantine for 7 days.
What to Expect at the Airport for departure and arrival to France
At JFK, we had to check in at the gate prior to boarding to submit proof of vaccination and covid testing. They will be verifying that you took a PCR test versus an Antigen test before boarding. Upon your arrival to France, you will be separated into colored lines for immigration based on the color code above. It is best to keep all of your information on your person and printed.
Current Mask Policy in France
If you are fully vaccinated in the France, particularly the city of Paris, you will be able to walk around outside without your mask freely. Masks are currently required inside museums and restaurants until you get to your table. Restaurants are just about to back to full capacity and a lot of museums have timed tickets.
Covid Testing in Paris
Testing is widely available throughout Paris. The Pharmacies throughout Paris have rapid testing available pretty frequently. We used this Pharmacy for our antigen testing to come back to the United States. Your hotel front desk can assist you with finding a testing facility as well. The airport will be looking through your documents a few times on the time way so be prepared to have these tests ready. I recommend having printed copies on hand. The cost will be 49 euros for a PCR test or 29 euros for a rapid antigen test for tourists.
France Best Practice Tips
- Print your documents! Having your testing documents and any QR codes printed will help you between the airports and different museums. I took screenshots on my phone as well for QR codes for attractions.
- Book your attractions ahead of time! The tickets are limited and timed a lot of venues.
- Schedule your Covid Test to go home ahead of time! We spent about 4 hours finding a place and getting tested. Don’t waste precious vacation time.
- Learn a little French! Please and Thank You goes a long way.
- Use a Travel Advisor and Stay on Top of Travel Changes!
Now is a wonderful time to travel to France. I took my family to Paris for a week last week and it was an amazing experience. We were able to enjoy very busy attractions with very minimal crowds. It felt like we had the city to ourselves. France is open for travel and I hope you take her up on this offer. Enjoy peak season weather with off-season crowds.
Want some tips on Paris? Check out this Paris Travel Guide!