As from June 15th France opened its border again for travel from within the EU, the UK and the Schengen zone.
But the situation is not clear for people who want to travel to France from Canada, Australia, the USA, India or other countries outside the EU or Schengen zone?
The EU in March brought in a ban on all non essential travel from countries outside either the EU (which for this purpose still includes the UK) or the Schengen Zone.
It is in effect despite the opening up of the borders to European travel from June 15th.
However the European Commision has now published a proposals for reopening its external borders from July 1st.
As with the reopening of borders for European travel, the final decision is for each country to make, but France has responded positively.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made a joint statement: “In accordance with the European Commission’s recommendations and inspired by the French proposals, France will also gradually open its Schengen external borders from July 1st.
It worth mentioning that the full plan hasn’t been published yet. It is too early to talk about total lifting of all restrictions.
Countries like New Zealand, which recently declared itself coronavirus free, could well be ahead in the queue of countries like the USA, which still has a high level of Covid-19 circulation and deaths.
What is essential travel?
The EU’s definition of essential travel is stricter than many countries’ individual restrictions and does not contain any exemption for visits for family reasons.
The list of people who can travel into the European bloc include
- Citizens of an EU country
- Non EU citizens who are permanent residents of an EU country and need to come home
- Healthcare workers engaged in crucial work on the coronavirus crisis
- Frontier workers and in some circumstances seasonal workers
- Delivery drivers
France has also established a quarantine for all those arriving from outside Europe, but this is a voluntary measure.
People are asked to self-isolate once they arrive in the country for a period of 14 days, but there are exceptions for certain types of travellers.