France Tightens Travel Restrictions for UK, Spain, and Portugal

France Tightens Travel Restrictions for UK, Spain, and Portugal

France has announced stricter restrictions on unvaccinated travellers from three countries that have reported high numbers of COVID cases linked to the Delta variant of the virus are Spain, Portugal and the UK.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a package of measures aimed at controlling a Delta-driven fourth wave of COVID in France.

On the subject of travel restrictions he said: “From this week, controls at our borders will be strengthened for those coming from high-risk countries, with strict isolation for unvaccinated travellers” – but offered no further details.

However, some clarification was later published by France’s Europe minister Clément Beaune on Twitter.

France is keeping in place its traffic light system, but imposing extra restrictions on travellers from the UK, Spain and Portugal.

He announced a “reinforced regime” for travellers from the UK who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours of travel, in addition to having compelling reasons for travel. This is a change from the existing regime which requires a test taken within 72 hours of travel.

Translated, the tweet reads:

Among the countries 🟠 , reinforced regime also for the United Kingdom: for the unvaccinated, a test of 24 h is required at departure (in addition to the overriding reason) 🇬🇧 🇫🇷

In addition to the new restrictions for the three countries, Beaune revealed that, unlike foreign nationals, French citizens living abroad would continue to have access to the free COVID-19 test.

Travel from UK to France

With the announcement, this means the new rules from the UK are:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers – can travel to France for any reason, do not have to be quarantined on arrival but do need a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of travel
  • Unvaccinated travellers – can only travel to France for essential reasons (which includes French citizens and residents returning home), must quarantine for 7 days on arrival and need a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours of travel.

Travel from Spain and Portugal to France

Spain and Portugal are both on France’s green list, along with the rest of the EU and Schengen zone, but testing has also been tightened up for non-vaccinated travellers who now require a negative test taken within 24 hours of travel, not 72 hours as previously.

#Vacances | Among the countries classified 🟢 , Spain and Portugal will be subject to increased surveillance: the test required at the start must be Heavy minus sign 24h for unvaccinated #prudence#responsabilité 🇪🇸 🇪🇺 🇵🇹

This means the new rules for Spain and Portugal are:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers – can travel for any reason, do not need to quarantine or present a negative COVID test.
  • Unvaccinated travellers – can travel for any reason and do not need to be quarantined, but must show a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours of travel.

Tests are required for all travellers aged over 11 years.

Fully Vaccinated Travellers

In travel terms, fully vaccinated is defined as someone who has received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

The authorised vaccines are:

  • Pfizer, 
  • Moderna, 
  • AstraZeneca 
  • Johnson & Johnson

Vaccination should be two weeks after their second dose, or four weeks after the injection if they received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson injection.

Travellers from the UK who had AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine do not count as ‘fully vaccinated’ under French rules.

What are your thoughts on tightening travel restrictions? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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