The French authorities have announced that in order to prevent the further spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, all third-country nationals will be subject to testing requirements before entering French territory.
According to a decree published by the French government, starting December 4, non-EU travelers over the age of 12 will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours prior to arrival to be allowed to enter France.
Authorities have made it clear that the test requirement applies to all third-country nationals, even those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, TheSchengen.com reports.
Part of the decree states that “any person twelve years of age or older wishing to travel to the national territory from a foreign country must be provided with the result of a screening test or examination conducted less than 48 hours before the flight.”
Moreover, it was noted that only PCR tests will be accepted, which means that those who have a negative rapid antigen test or any other test will be refused entry to France.
The decree stressed that “the only antigen tests that can be performed are those that allow detection of the N-protein of SARS-CoV-2”.
Aside from the test requirements, third-country nationals must also agree to undergo further tests upon arrival in France.
With regard to arrivals from EU countries, the French authorities have announced that all citizens of the member states, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland can continue to enter France without restrictions as long as they have a valid vaccination or recovery certificate.
In contrast, travelers from the European Union who do not hold either certificate – vaccination or recovery certificate – must submit a negative COVID-19 test result 24 hours before arrival in order to be allowed entry into France.
In addition, strict rules will apply to all returnees from Omicron-affected areas.
France has already banned all flights from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini due to the discovery of the Omicron variant. This means that travelers from these regions cannot travel to France. Only French citizens are allowed to return to the country.
However, in order to prevent further spread of the new variant, all returnees to France after a stay in one of the affected areas of Omicron must submit a PCR test within 48 hours or a rapid antigen test, which must be performed within 24 hours prior to entry.
>> EU asks member states to review essential travel restrictions daily due to COVID-19 Omicron Variant