France travel advice: Here are the Covid restrictions still in place for Scots traveling the English Channel this summer

France has seen some of the toughest Covid restrictions in the past two 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 obligation to present a Covid pass at the entrance to a restaurant or bar have now been lifted, but other rules remain.

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Those planning a summer vacation in France should know that to enter the country they will need to prove they have been vaccinated or present a negative Covid test.

And, as always, it’s not that simple, with a few potential pitfalls that could lead to you being denied boarding.

Here’s what you need to know before booking.

What if I am fully vaccinated?

Travelers fully vaccinated against Covid can enter France but must prove their vaccination status.

If you are visiting France this summer, be sure to follow the remaining Covid travel restrictions to ensure you have a great holiday.

The Scottish NHS app is acceptable proof, but make sure it’s up-to-date and shows your status accurately.

It is advisable to save a copy of the QR code separately or even print a copy – just in case the app or your phone stops working.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can access and print your QR code from the NHS Scotland website here.

What does “fully vaccinated” really mean?

This is where some travelers have had trouble, as the French authorities are very strict with their definition of “fully vaccinated”.

If you have received your booster, you are considered fully immunized, with no time limit, but the booster must have been given at least seven days before the date of travel.

If, however, you have only received two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, you must have received the second dose between nine months and one week before travel to be considered fully vaccinated.

For Johnson & Johnson’s single and single dose, you must have been vaccinated between nine months and one month before travel.

Alternatively, you must have received at least one dose of vaccine and show proof that you have recently recovered from Covid at least one week before travel.

A certificate proving medical exemption from vaccination will also be acceptable for entry into France.

If you don’t meet these conditions, you are essentially treated as someone who hasn’t been vaccinated.

Can I still go to France if I am not fully vaccinated?

Unvaccinated travelers are still welcome in France, but those over 12 will need to provide one of three documents.

The first option is a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure.

A negative rapid antigen test result taken within 48 days of departure is also acceptable.

Finally, you can present 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 test before departure, usually costing between £40-50, where you will receive a valid certificate which you will need to show in order to gain entry.

Traveling to France with children

Children over 12 are subject to the same entry restrictions as adults, so the above rules apply.

Children under 12 are exempt from the restrictions, which means they do not have to take a pre-departure test or prove their vaccination status.

How about returning to Scotland?

There are no longer Covid restrictions in place for people traveling from France to Scotland.

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