France travel rules: What are the latest restrictions for holidaymakers?

·3-min read
Lavender fields beneath the village of Simiane la Rotonde, Provence (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Lavender fields beneath the village of Simiane la Rotonde, Provence (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The UK’s close neighbour and beloved short-break destination saw a range of different rules imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At one point, amid the Omicron variant panic, France banned UK visitors altogether.

Now our continental neighbour has relaxed its rules for international visitors, meaning whether you’re off on a city break to glorious Paris, headed to the Riviera for sun and sea, or dipping into its vineyards, your French holiday will feel much more straightforward than in recent months.

Here’s everything you need to know before you go.

Do I need proof of vaccination or a test to visit France?

No. As of 1 August 2022, France has dropped all of its remaining Covid restrictions for travellers, meaning you no longer have 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 reinstate these travel rules if Covid cases rise sharply. As such, it’s worth checking the latest Foreign Office advice before you travel.

Do I need to fill in a passenger locator form for France?

No - as part of the 1 August end to Covid entry restrictions, France has now ended the passenger locator form requirement.

Do I need to wear a mask while on holiday in France?

Not at the moment, except in hospitals and other medical facilities.

The French government ended the requirement to wear masks on public transport on 16 May, although the Foreign Office advises: “Some towns and cities may require mask wearing on public transport”, so it’s worth bringing some just in case.

In early July, some in France were calling for tighter mask rules as cases rose. However, French government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire dismissed the idea on 29 June, telling French channel BFMTV: “The French people are sick of restrictions. We are confident that people will behave responsibly.”

Do I need to show proof of vaccination for venues in France?

No. France ended its use of so-called “vaccine passports” within the country on 14 March 2022. It had previously demanded proof of full vaccination (a “pass sanitaire”) be shown at certain large-scale events and indoor venues.

Has Brexit changed the rules for visiting France?

The rule changes that could trip you up on a visit to France in 2022 are more likely to be Brexit-related than Covid-related. Since the UK left the European Union, there are new rules regarding 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 post-Brexit, your UK passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the “date of issue”)

  • valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (check the “expiry date”)

There is also now a time limit on how long and how often you can visit France, visa free. The Foreign Office advises: “You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

“To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the French government’s entry requirements.”

You must also have your passport stamped on arrival and on exit from the country. Make sure this takes place at passport control to avoid any confusion over how long you have been there.

You may also need to show a return or onward ticket to indicate when you are leaving France, and could be asked to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

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