France begins limiting travel outside the EU to curb the spread of Covid-19

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the new measures on Friday as part of new efforts to contain Covid-19 infections and avoid another nationwide lockdown.

By curbing international travel, the government hopes to get a better grip on the circulation of the coronavirus and its new, more contagious variants. 

Valid personal reasons include:

  • The death or imminent death of a parent, grandparent or sibling. A doctor’s note or death certificate will be required.
  • A child visiting a parent who has shared custody or visitation rights. A court letter and proof of address will be required.
  • Assistance for someone old, ill or handicapped. A document establishing the relationship to the two people and the situation of the person needing help will be required.
  • A judicial summons. The traveller will need to show the summons.
  • A legal or economic reason that you cannot remain in the country, such as an expired visa.
  • Safety issues. Acceptable documents include protection orders.
  • Students beginning or ending a period of study abroad. They will be required to show documentation from the educational institution.
  • Travellers may return to their primary residence if their trip began before January 31, 2021. They will be required to show proof of residency, plus their outbound ticket.

Valid health reasons include:

  • Medical emergencies. A doctor’s letter or proof of hospital appointment will be required. Someone may accompany the patient.

Valid work-related reasons include:

  • Business activities that cannot be postponed or carried out remotely without disproportionate consequences. The traveller must have a letter from their employer.
  • Health professionals fighting Covid-19. They must show a professional ID.
  • Diplomatic missions and state work trips. Travellers must have professional ID and/or a letter from their ministry.
  • High-level professional sporting events. Participants must have professional ID and documentation from the sports ministry.

Travellers also must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before travel as well as a signed form asserting they have not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 during the previous 14 days. Those conditions must be also met upon return to France. 




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