France has had some of the toughest Covid restrictions over the last couple of years – from Covid passports to lockdowns – and the country is still more cautious than most when it comes to arrivals from the UK.
The mandatory use of masks in public places and the requirement to show a Covid pass when entering a restaurant or bar have now been lifted, but other rules remain.
Those planning a summer holiday to France should be aware that in order to enter the country they will need to prove that they have been vaccinated or show a negative Covid test.
And, as ever, it’s not quite as simple as that, with a few potential pitfalls that could potentially lead to you being refused boarding.
Here’s what you need to know before booking.
What if I’m fully vaccinated?
Travellers fully vaccinated for Covid can enter France but need to prove their vaccination status.
The Scottish NHS app is acceptable proof but make sure that it’s updated and is showing your status accurately.
It’s advisable to save a copy of the QR code separately or even print out a copy – just in case the app or your phone stops working.
Should you not have a smartphone you can access and print out your QR code on the NHS Scotland website here.
What does ‘fully vaccinated’ actually mean?
This is where some travellers have had issues, as the French authorities are very strict when it comes to their definition of ‘fully vaccinated’.
If you have had your booster jab then you are considered to be fully vaccinated, with no time limits, but the booster must have been administered at least seven days before the date of travel.
If, however, you have only had two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine then you must have had the second dose between nine months and one week before travel to be considered fullt vaccinated.
When it comes to the single and only dose of Johnson & Johnson you need to have been vaccinated between nine months and one month before travel.
Alternatively you need to have had at least one dose of vaccine and show proof that you have prove recent recovery from Covid no less than one week before travel.
A certificate proving medical exemption from vaccination will also be acceptable for entry to France.
Should you not satisfy these conditions you are essentially treated like somebody who has not been vaccinated.
Can I still go to France if I am not fully vaccinated?
Unvaccinated travellers are still welcome to France, but those over the age of 12 will need to provide one of three documents.
The first option is a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
A negative rapid antigen test result taken within 48 of departure is also acceptable.
Finally, you can submit a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 with a positive PCR test between 11 days and six months before departure.
NHS tests are not acceptable – you will need to book and pay for a private pre-departure test, generally costing between £40 and £50, where you will be issued with a valid certificate you will need to show to be granted entry.
Travelling to France with children
Children over the age of 12 are subject to the same entry restrictions as adults, so the above rules apply.
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the restrictions, meaning they do not have to take a pre-departure test or prove their vaccination status.
What about returning to Scotland?
There are no longer any Covid restrictions in place for people travelling from France to Scotland.