Following a significant increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates, authorities in France will further tighten restrictions and introduce a nationwide partial lockdown that will be in force Oct. 30-Dec. 1. During this period, residents must remain in their homes except to perform essential tasks, such as purchasing essential goods, seeking medical attention, taking care of close family members, or engaging in outdoor exercise. In addition, individuals who cannot perform their work from home will be allowed to go to work. Furthermore, the following restrictions will also be in place:
- Bars, restaurants, and non-essential businesses will be closed. Most public services will remain operational.
- Employees must work from home whenever possible.
- Travel between regions is banned.
- Non-EU international borders will largely remain closed.
- University and other higher education courses will be taught online; most other schools will, however, remain open.
Authorities have mandated the nationwide use of protective face coverings in enclosed public spaces, including shared workspaces, while a number of local jurisdictions, including Paris, also require their use in outdoor public spaces.
International travel restrictions on most foreign nationals remain in effect. International arrivals from the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, and Uruguay are permitted to enter without restriction. Most travelers from other locations remain barred from entry, though exceptions are made for French nationals and residents, as well as for persons traveling on what authorities deem to be essential reasons, including certain necessary workers, diplomats, students, and those visiting for urgent family reasons. All such arrivals are required to complete a form declaring themselves to be COVID-19 free and present a certificate declaring their reason for travel.
Permitted travelers arriving from Bahrain, Panama, the UAE, and the US must present proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to boarding; permitted arrivals from Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, India, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa, and Turkey must meet the same condition or take a test on arrival. Permitted travelers from all other locations are able to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours or take a test on arrival; otherwise, they are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.