Info Coronavirus COVID-19: the situation in France (19.03)

March 19, 2021 – Given the continuing active circulation of Covid-19 in France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on March 18, 2021 new specific containment measures for certain French departments.

Entrance and exit from France

Travelers coming from and going to a country outside the European zone

Since Sunday, January 31, 2021, any entry into France and any exit from the territory to or from a country outside the European zone[1] are prohibited except for:

  • compelling personal or family reasons,
  • emergency health reason
  • or professional reason that cannot be postponed.

To prove one of these compelling reasons, an affidavit can be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior website. It must be presented to the transportation company at the time of boarding and be accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents. As of March 12, 2021, a compelling reason is no longer required for travel to or from :


South Korea,



New Zealand,

The United Kingdom


These travelers will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result of a virological screening test (RT-PCR), performed 72 hours before departure.

[1] European zone: European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Holy See and Switzerland. The United Kingdom is no longer part of the European area.

Travelers coming from and going to a country of the European zone

Since Sunday, January 31, 2021, all travelers, regardless of their mode of transportation (air, sea or land), 11 years of age or older, wishing to travel to France from a country in the European Union¹ are required to present the results of a virological screening test (RT-PCR) that does not indicate contamination by COVID-19, performed 72 hours before departure.

Exempted from this obligation are road transporters (truckers), border workers and residents of border areas within a 30 km radius of their home.

Upon arrival in France, it is strongly recommended to isolate oneself for 7 days, and then to perform a second virological screening test (RT-PCR) at the end of this 7-day period.

Travelers to French overseas destinations

Travel to overseas locations will also be subject to a strict compelling reason.

  • French Guiana, New Caledonia, Reunion Island and Mayotte: measure already implemented,
  • Guadeloupe and Martinique: applicable since February 2, 2021.
  • French Polynesia: applicable since February 3, 2021.

Concerning air transportation to the French Overseas Departments and Territories, a test within 72 hours before boarding is requred.

► Situation in France

As of Friday, March 19, 2021 at midnight and for 4 weeks, specific containment measures are in place for the following 16 departments:

















In these 16 departments :

  • Only businesses selling essential goods and services can remain open,
  • Residents can leave their homes without time limit, within a radius of 10 km from their homes, presenting a certificate in case of control;
  • Inter-regional travel is prohibited, except for compelling or professional reasons;
  • The prefects have the possibility to prohibit certain gatherings in the public space.

All of France :

  • From March 20, 2021, a curfew is established between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a,m throughout mainland France.
  • Shops: since November 28, all shops (except restaurants) are open. Protective sanitary rules (including a minimum of 8m²|86 sqare feet| per customer) are in force.

Sincer January 31, 2021, non-food shopping centers larger than 20,000 m2, are closed until further notice.

Since February 1,, 2021, new foot traffic regulations have gone into effect in all large retail stores and shops.

  • Places of Worship: since November 28, 2020, places of worship have reopened with the following protocols: two open seats between each person or family entity (group of people sharing the same home) and only every other row occupied.
  • Tourist accommodations: since December 15, 2020, collective hostels, tourist residences, residential tourist villages, vacation villages and family vacation homes as well as camping and caravanning sites are once again authorized to welcome their customers. In hotels, the restaurant/bar areas are closed, but room service is allowed.
  • Winter sports resorts: since December 15, 2020, winter sports resorts can welcome visitors, however all public facilities and ski lifts remain closed until further notice.
  • Cultural sites : Cultural establishments (museums, theaters, theaters, movie theaters) also remain closed until further notice.
  • Restaurants : Restaurants and bars are also closed until further notice.
  • Sports halls: The sports halls also remain closed until further notice. The reception of the public in sports venues remains prohibited until further notice.

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