This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions applying to entry into France due to the COVID-19 situation from 9 June 2021.

WHY THIS MATTERS

These travel restrictions have a considerable impact on travellers and globally-mobile employees between France and other countries.

To deal with the virus and contain the spread of its variants, stricter border control measures have been in effect since 24 April 2021. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2021-125, 28 April 2021).

From 9 June, the flow of travellers between France and foreign countries will be reopened under certain conditions and depending on the country of departure.

These rules are updated regularly by the French government and so travellers and global mobility services personnel must keep informed accordingly.

It is advisable that travellers – including mobile employees – consult with their travel agents and immigration counsel prior to making plans for travel to France.

Context

From 9 June, the flow of travellers between France and foreign countries will be reopened under strict conditions according to procedures that depend on the sanitary/health situation in “departure” countries and the vaccination status of travellers.

No Travel Restrictions for Travellers from EU Countries, PCR Testing

To travel within the European Union, it is currently not necessary to justify the reason for travel, but pre-testing and quarantine requirements may apply. 

From 1 July, a health pass will be recognised for travel within the EU, in the form of a European certificate.  The certificate may include proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or proof of a return to good health after having had COVID-19 in the past six months. 

In addition, EU member states may establish additional health measures if necessary and proportionate (e.g., testing, quarantine, etc.).

Travel Restrictions from “Green Countries”

No Active Circulation of Virus, No Variants of Concern Identified

This includes the European Union, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Singapore.

  • Travellers with proof of vaccination1:  Travellers with proof of vaccination are allowed to enter France.
  • Travellers with no proof of vaccination:  Travellers must show a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test carried out less than 72 hours prior to the departure.  

Travel Restrictions from “Orange Countries”

Active Circulation of Virus in Controlled Proportions, without Spread of Variants of Concern

This includes all countries, except “green” and “red” countries.

  • Travellers with proof of vaccination2:  Travellers with proof of vaccination must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test carried out less than 72 hours or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 
  • Travellers with no proof of vaccination:  Travellers from orange countries are now subject to the regime of “compelling reasons” (the indicative list of compelling reasons appears on travel certificates).

Stricter compelling reasons are indicated on the certificate as follows3:

  1. French citizen, and his or her spouse (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner) and their children.
  2. Citizen of the European Union or equivalent, and his or her spouse (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner) and their children, whose main residence is in France or who join, in transit through France, their main residence in a European Union or assimilated country or the country of which they are a national.
  3. Citizen of a third country who is a holder of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, who has his or her main residence in France or who joins, in transit through France, his or her main residence in a European Union or assimilated country.
  4. British nationals and their family members who are beneficiaries of the withdrawal agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. British civil servants in the exercise of their duties, persons working for the border police, customs officers, and Channel Tunnel staff (including those working on operations, maintenance, security, cross-Channel security, or cross-Channel facilities).
  5. Citizen of a third country holding a long-stay visa issued for the purpose of family reunion or reunification of refugee families, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and stateless persons.
  6. Foreign health or research professional involved in the fight against COVID-19 as well as his/her spouse (married, civil union, cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life) and their children.
  7. Foreign health or research professional recruited as an Associate Trainee.
  8. A third-country citizen with a “Talent Passport” LSV as well as his/her spouse (married, civil union, cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life) and their children.
  9. Students enrolled in “French as a foreign language” (FLE) courses prior to enrollment in higher education or admitted to the oral examinations in French higher education institutions or registered for the start of the 2021-2022 school year; Researcher settling in France at the invitation of a research laboratory, for research activities which imperatively require a physical presence as well as his or her spouse (married, civil union, cohabiting on presentation of proof of community of life) and their children.
  10. Land, sea, and air transport sector workers or transport service providers, including drivers of vehicles carrying goods intended for use in the territory, as well as those who are only in transit, or travelling as passengers returning to their home base or for training purposes.
  11. Foreign citizens working for a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organisation with its headquarters or an office in France, as well as their spouse and their children or foreign citizens of a third country staying in France for a compelling professional reason under a mission order issued by their country of origin.
  12. Traveller in transit in the international zone for less than 24 hours.

Travellers without proof of vaccination are also subject to self-isolation measures upon arrival in France for a seven-day period.

Furthermore, travellers must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test carried out less than 72 hours or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 

On arrival in France, they may also be subject to a random antigen test.

Travel Restrictions from “Red Countries”

Active Circulation of Virus, Spread of Variants of Concern

These countries include South Africa, Argentina, Bahrein, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Turkey, and Uruguay.

Travellers from these countries are subject to the stricter regime of compelling reasons.

Compelling reasons are indicated on the certificate as follows4:

  1. French citizen, and his or her spouse (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner) and their children;
  2. Citizen of the European Union or equivalent, and his or her spouse (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner) and their children, whose main residence is in France;
  3. Citizen of a third country who is a holder of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, who has his or her main residence in France (valid only if the travel abroad took place prior to 31 January 2021 or was justified by a compelling reason);
  4. Citizen of a third country holding a long-stay visa issued for the purpose of family reunion or reunification of refugee families, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and stateless persons;
  5. Land, sea, and air transport sector workers or transport service providers, including drivers of vehicles carrying goods intended for use in the territory, as well as those who are only in transit, or travelling as passengers returning to their home base or for training purposes;
  6. Foreign citizen working in a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organisation with headquarters or an office in France, as well as his or her partner and their children;
  7. Traveller in transit in the international zone for less than 24 hours.

Furthermore, for all types of travel, the traveller must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 

He or she also will be subject to a compulsory antigen test carried out upon arrival on French national territory.

Regarding the quarantine measure, it depends on the vaccination status of the traveller:

  • Traveller with a proof of vaccination:  He or she is subject to a self-isolation measure upon arrival in France for a seven-day period.
  • Traveller with no proof of vaccination:  He or she is subject to a quarantine measure upon arrival in France for a 10-day period.  This isolation is controlled/monitored by French security forces.

KPMG NOTE

A specific note regarding travellers from France to a country outside of the EU: the conditions and the restrictions for leaving the country depend on the category of the country (Red, Orange) and the vaccination status of the traveller.

It should be noted that a foreign citizen wishing to return to his or her country of residence or origin will be not prevented from leaving France (without a guarantee however of being able to return without a compelling reason).

FOOTNOTES

1 The vaccines administered by France are those recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Proof of vaccination is only valid if it can be used to prove that a complete vaccination schedule has been completed:

  • Two weeks after the second injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
  • Four weeks after the injection for single injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
  • Two weeks after injection for vaccines in people with a history of COVID-19 (only one injection required).

2  Ibid. 

3  For the website of the Ministry of the Interior (Ministère de l'Intérieur), see: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Certificate-of-international-travel .

4.  Ibid.

Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in France.

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GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.