France Lifts All COVID-19 Restrictions for American Travelers — and Drops Mask Mandate
France is easing border restrictions for American tourists, according to government officials, while simultaneously eliminating COVID-19-related vaccine mandates on the ground.
France re-classified the United States as a "green" country, allowing for easier entry protocols. Fully vaccinated travelers coming from a green country are allowed to enter by simply showing their proof of inoculation. Unvaccinated travelers are also welcome if they show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure or proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of their departure.
Alternatively, travelers may show proof they contracted COVID-19 and recovered within six months of their trip.
Children under age 12 are exempt from all pre-entry testing requirements.
"The green list includes countries or territories with negligible or moderate virus circulation, in the absence of an emerging variant of concern," according to the French government's guidance.
The new rules come weeks after France eliminated the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers. Before today, the country still required unvaccinated Americans to prove they had a compelling reason for their trip.
In addition to easing border restrictions, France suspended its vaccination pass and lifted mask rules on Monday, the country's Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted. Previously, the pass was required to access public places like restaurants and cafes as well as long-distance trains.
Going forward, the country will only require face coverings be worn on public transportation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies France as a "Level 4" destination, indicating a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country and warning Americans to "avoid" traveling there. Currently, France is reporting more than 65,200 new infections on average each day, according to Reuters, but that is significantly lower than the country's peak in January.
France's decision to make it easier for tourists to enter comes as several countries in Europe ease or eliminate border restrictions. Both Ireland and Iceland, for example, have eliminated all COVID-19-related border restrictions, welcoming both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.