Coronavirus - Advice for visitors to France


Travel rules

Since March 17, in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, the borders at the entrance of the European Union and the Schengen area are closed for travelers coming from the United States.

Only persons belonging to one of the categories mentioned in the international travel certificate to mainland France are allowed to enter French territory.

All travelers bound for France are required to present :
• the international travel certificate ;
• a negative PCR test result done in under 72 hours before the flight.

Health Advice

The French Government updates its recommendations regularly to protect your health and recommends protective measures against Coronavirus COVID-19.

For the people in and returning from an area where the virus is spreading:

  • Take your temperature twice a day;
  • Watch for symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, difficulty breathing, etc.);
  • Wash your hands often or use alcohol-based sanitiser gel;
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable people (pregnant women, chronically ill people, elderly people, etc.)
  • Avoid going to places where vulnerable people are (hospitals, maternity wards, nursing and retirement homes, etc.);
  • Avoid non-essential outings (large public gatherings, restaurants, movie theatres, etc.)
  • Workers/students can return to work if they do not have any symptoms;
  • Children and primary and secondary school students can be sent to pre-primary, primary and secondary schools.

If you have a respiratory infection (fever, feverish feeling, cough, difficulty breathing) in an area or 14 days after you returned from an area where the virus is spreading:

  • Call SAMU Centre 15 (Emergency Medical Services – dial 15) sharing your symptoms and your travel history;
  • Avoid contact with friends and family;
  • Wear a mask (only if prescribed by a doctor);
  • Do not go to your GP or to the hospital to avoid the risk of contamination.

Should I wear a mask?

It is not recommended that you wear a surgical mask if you do not have any symptoms.
Masks are not effective for the general public because they cannot be worn at all times and they are not necessary unless you are in close or long-term contact with someone is ill.
Masks are therefore reserved for ill people and only with a doctor’s prescription, people who are in proven high-risk contact, emergency care professionals, medical transport professionals, and health professionals working in the community and at hospitals. The Government has issued stocks of surgical masks from the strategic stock and will continue to do so as necessary to meet the needs of regions for these prescribed categories as they emerge.
This information has been given to pharmacies and they will only distribute masks if they are prescribed by a doctor.
As is the case for the seasonal flu, barrier measures are effective.

What are barrier measures?

The virus does not spread on its own. People who have the virus are the ones who spread it. Therefore, the following measures are common-sense measures.
How to avoid catching and spreading respiratory infections and protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • Wash your hands very often;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve when you cough our sneeze;
  • Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek;
  • Use single-use tissues;
  • Wear a mask when ill (only if prescribed by a doctor).

Are there enough masks in France?

15 million surgical masks of the national stock have been circulated. 138 health institutions that treat confirmed cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 have already received surgical masks.
Masks are also being distributed to general practitioners to treat patients who could be infected with Coronavirus COVID-19.

The requirement of a doctor’s prescription to use these masks, in the case where they are useful, must be respected if the stocking and restocking of these protective measures is to be effective.


A toll-free hotline service can answer your questions about the Coronavirus COVID-19 non-stop , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0 800 130 000.

The toll-free hotline service is not qualified to give medical advice. So if you have signs of respiratory infections 14 days after you return from China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao), Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy, dial 15.

Arriving in France

How are possible patients with symptoms dealt with in the airport?

They are taken care of by the Airport Emergency Medical Service. They are then isolated and treated, as are all medical cases, by the SAMU Centre 15 (Emergency Medical Services), in accordance with procedures in place.

Visit the French Governement website for up-to-date information including our response to the crisis and information about COVID-19 in France

Last modified on 08/09/2020

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