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This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions applying to entry into France due to the COVID-19 situation from 4 December 2021.

WHY THIS MATTERS

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

Since 1 December, in light of the approaching Christmas holidays and in spite of the spread of the “omicron” variant of SARS-CoV-2 (“coronavirus”), the flow of travellers between France and foreign countries has remained open, but certain new (and existing) conditions apply depending on the country of departure.

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

These rules are updated regularly by the French government.  Travellers and global-mobility 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 1 December, the flow of travellers between France and foreign countries is restricted and entry into France is allowed under strict conditions according to procedures that depend on the sanitary/health situation in “departure” countries and the vaccination status of travellers.

Travel Restrictions from “Green Countries”

No Active Circulation of Virus

Green countries include the European area countries,1 plus Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Taiwan, Union of Comoros, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

Traveller with a proof of vaccination2:  Travellers must show a negative PCR or antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure except for arrivals from a member state of the European Union (EU), Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See, or Switzerland.

Traveller with no proof of vaccination:  Travellers must show a certificate of recovery older than 11 days and less than six months or a negative PCR or antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 

Some countries in the European area have been placed under surveillance:  For unvaccinated travellers from a country in the European area, a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 24 hours is required.

On arrival in France, any traveller (vaccinated or not vaccinated) from a green country may also be subject to a random PCR or antigen test. 

Travel Restrictions from “Orange Countries”

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

Orange countries include all countries, except “green” and “red” countries.

Traveller with a proof of vaccination:  Travellers with proof of vaccination must show a negative coronavirus PCR or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 

Traveller with no proof of vaccination:  Travellers from orange countries are 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 follows:

  1. French citizens, their spouses (married, civil union, and cohabiting), and their children.
  2. Citizens of the EU or equivalent, and their spouses (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner), and their children, whose main residence is in France or who is returning, in transit through France, to their main residence in an EU country or equivalent, or to a country whose nationality they hold.
  3. Citizens of other countries with a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa whose main residence is in France or who are in transit through France to their main residence in an EU country or a similar country.
  4. British citizens and their family members who are beneficiaries of the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community;  British civil servants exercising their duties, border police officers, and customs officers;  Channel Tunnel staff (engaged inter alia in operations, maintenance, security), or cross-Channel facilities staff.
  5. Citizens of other countries holding a long-stay visa issued for purposes of ordinary family reunion or refugee family reunification, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and stateless persons.
  6. Foreign health or research professionals involved in the fight against COVID-19 as well as their spouses (married, civil partner, cohabiting partner subject to proof of community of life), and children.
  7. Foreign health or research professionals engaged as associate trainees.
  8. Citizens of other countries with a “talent passport” long-stay visa, as well as their spouses (married, civil union, or cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life), and children.
  9. Students enrolled in French as a foreign language (FFL) courses prior to enrolment in higher education or admitted to the oral examinations of French higher education institutions or enrolled to begin the new 2021-2022 academic year; researchers or teachers (including language assistants) settling in France at the invitation of a research laboratory, for research activities requiring a physical presence, as well as their spouses (married, civil union, cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life), and their children.
  10. Workers in the land, sea, and air transport sectors or transport service providers (including drivers of any vehicle transporting goods for use in the territory as well as those only in transit or travelling as passengers to resettle in their home base or for training).
  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 spouses 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. Travellers in transit for less than 24 hours in an international zone.

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 coronavirus PCR test, or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure (24 hours for travellers from the U.K.). 

On arrival in France, the traveller (vaccinated or not vaccinated) from an orange country may also be subject to a random PCR or antigen test.  He or she will be requested to facilitate the administrative formalities by completing the form available at the following web address: https://passager.serveureos.org.

Travel Restrictions from “Red Countries”

Active Circulation of Virus, Spread of Variants of Concern

Red countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Suriname, Turkey, and Ukraine.

  • Traveller with a proof of vaccination:  Travellers with proof of vaccination must show a negative coronavirus PCR or an antigen test carried out less than 48 hours prior to the departure. 

On arrival in France, vaccinated travellers from red countries may also be subject to a random PCR or antigen test.  They will be requested to facilitate the administrative formalities by completing the form available at the following web address: https://passager.serveureos.org .

  • Traveller with no proof of vaccination: Travellers from these red countries are subject to the stricter regime of compelling reasons.

Compelling reasons are indicated on the certificate as follows:

  1. French citizens, their spouses (married, civil union, and cohabiting), and their children.
  2. Citizens of the EU or equivalent, as well as their spouses (married, civil partner, or cohabiting partner), and children, whose main residence is in France or who are passing through France to their main residence in an EU country or equivalent.
  3. Citizens of a third-party country, holding a valid French or European residence permit or a long-stay visa, whose main residence is in France or who are passing through France to their main residence in an EU country or equivalent.
  4. Citizens of a third-party country holding a long-stay visa issued for family reunification or family reunification of refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and stateless persons.
  5. Students enrolled in French as a foreign language (FLE) courses prior to enrolment in higher education or admitted to oral examinations in French higher education institutions or enrolled for the year 2021-2022;  Researchers or teachers (including language assistants) settling in France at the invitation of a research laboratory, for research activities requiring a physical presence, as well as their spouses (married, civil union, cohabiting partner on presentation of proof of community of life), and their children.
  6. Workers in the land, sea, and air transport sectors or transport service providers (including drivers of any vehicle transporting goods for use in the territory as well as those only in transit or travelling as passengers to resettle in their home base or for training).
  7. Foreign nationals working for a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organisation with headquarters or offices in France, as well as their spouses and children, or foreign nationals from third-party countries staying in France for imperative professional reasons that cannot be postponed under cover of a mission order justifying the imperative nature of the objectives of such mission issued by the state to which they belong.
  8. Travellers in transit for less than 24 hours in an international zone.

Furthermore, travellers without proof of vaccination are also subject to self-isolation measures upon arrival in France for a 10-day period.  The isolation measures are determined by French security forces.

The traveller must also show a negative coronavirus 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.  He or she will be requested to facilitate the administrative formalities by completing the form available at the following web address: https://passager.serveureos.org .

Travel Restrictions from “Scarlet Red Countries”

Active Circulation of Virus, Spread of Variants of Concern

Scarlet red countries include Botswana, Eswatini, Mauritius, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Travellers from these countries are subject to a strict regime of “compelling reasons” (the indicative list of compelling reasons appears on travel certificates).  Stricter compelling reasons are indicated on the certificate as follows:

  1. French citizens, their spouses (married, civil union, and cohabiting), and their children.
  2. Citizens of the EU or equivalent, as well as their spouses (married, civil partner, or cohabiting partner), and children, whose main residence is in France or who are passing through France to their main residence in an EU country or equivalent.
  3. Citizens of other countries with a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, whose main residence is in France.
  4. Citizens of other countries 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. Workers in the land, sea, and air transport sectors or transport service providers (including drivers of any vehicle transporting goods for use in the territory as well as those who are merely transiting or travelling as a passenger back to their departure base).
  6. Foreign citizens on duty with a diplomatic or consular mission or an international organisation with headquarters or offices in France, as well as their spouses and children.
  7. Travellers in transit for less than 24 hours in an international zone.

The traveller must show a negative coronavirus PCR test carried out 48 hours prior to departure, or an antigen test carried out less than 24 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.  He or she will be requested to facilitate the administrative formalities by completing the form available at the following web address: https://passager.serveureos.org.

Furthermore, travellers from scarlet red countries are also subject to self-isolation measures upon arrival in France for a 10-day period.  The isolation measures are determined 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 (scarlet red, 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 not be prevented from leaving France (but without a guarantee however of being able to return without a compelling reason).

FOOTNOTES

1  European area (member states of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Holy See, or Switzerland).

2  The vaccines administered by France are those recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield, and Johnson & Johnson.

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

- 7 days after the second injection for double-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield);

- 28 days after the injection for single-injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);

- for persons who have received all the required doses of a WHO-licensed vaccine not approved by the European Medicines Agency, seven days after receiving an additional dose of EMA-approved mRNA vaccine.

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

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.

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