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France Adds COVID Test Requirement for U.S. Travelers

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Photo by ShutterstockTravelers heading to France for the holidays will need to be armed with a negative COVID test.France is the latest country to introduce stricter entry rules amid growing concerns about the Omicron variant.

Starting December 4, travelers from the U.S. will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to their flight, according to the French government.

The United States is currently on France’s “orange list” of countries (or “amber list” depending on which section of the French government’s website you are looking at). Prior to December 4, that meant vaccinated U.S. travelers and those who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months could enter France with no additional requirements other than submitting a health declaration form.

But now the additional COVID test from within 48 hours of departure is required as well. International travelers are also subject to random COVID testing upon arrival in France.

Unvaccinated U.S. travelers cannot travel to France unless they have a pressing or compelling reason, such as being an EU citizen or resident, or are traveling for an essential work purpose or for studies. Those who are must also provide a negative COVID test from within 48 hours prior to flying to France and must self-isolate for seven days after arrivals. At the end of the self-isolation period, they are asked to test once more.

Unvaccinated minors traveling from the U.S. are allowed to enter France, but those age 12 and older must provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before their flight.

As of July 21, visitors now need a special COVID pass to ride up the Eiffel Tower or visit French museums or movie theaters. To get the COVID pass, people must show they are fully vaccinated, have a negative virus test, or provide proof they recently recovered from an infection.

The testing requirement for international travelers arriving in the U.S., including returning U.S. citizens and residents, is being further tightened as well: Starting December 6, all international arrivals, vaccinated or not, need to be tested for COVID no more than one calendar day before their flight to the U.S.

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