From Saturday 4 December, France will require all visitors from countries outside the EU to provide a negative Covid test result on entry to the country - regardless of vaccination status.
Speaking after the weekly Defence Council meeting on Wednesday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed to press that the test result requirement, which affects Britons among other non-EU travellers, would be added from this weekend.
The test result can be from either a PCR or an antigen (lateral flow) test, but must be from within the 48 hours before travel.
A government decree followed on 2 December, outlining that anyone aged 12 and over travelling to France from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Mauritius, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia or Zimbabwe will also need a negative test result to enter.
Travellers from fellow EU member states (as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) can still enter France with proof of vaccination or a recovery certificate alone, the decree explains.
EU residents without either one of these documents must also present a negative test result, taken within 24 hours before travel, in order to enter France.
The move comes as countries around the world tighten their entry rules and traveller requirements in the face of the new omicron variant, which has spread to several countries, including the UK.
At present, fully vaccinated travellers from the UK may enter France with proof of vaccination, along with a “sworn statement” (déclaration sur l’honneur) health form.
Unvaccinated travellers still need an essential reason to travel to France from the UK, and until 4 December, must also present a negative test result (PCR or antigen, taken within the 24 hours previous) on arrival as well as the sworn statement form.
The news coincides with the beginning of France’s popular ski season, leaving many travellers scrambling to arrange tests before travel this weekend.
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