Oui! France eases travel entry

France permits entry to vaccinated South Africans. Image: Pixabay

Oui! France eases travel entry restrictions for South Africa

France has announced that it will grant entry to those from South Africa who are vaccinated – without the need for quarantine or isolation.

Oui! France eases travel entry

France permits entry to vaccinated South Africans. Image: Pixabay

France becomes one of the first countries in Western Europe to grant unrestricted entry to vaccinated South Africans. This is good news for South Africa who has had to bear the brunt of complete entry bans or being subjected to strict entry restrictions by many European countries including Germany and the United Kingdom.  

Travelling from South Africa to France has been restricted for many months due to the prevalence of the Beta variant which was first detected in South Africa in December last year.     


France imposed travel restrictions on South Africa in April this year in an attempt to limit the importation of the Beta strain into France.       

Travel from South Africa to France has, until now, been limited to French residents, nationals, their spouses and children. Even with negative PCR test results, such travellers have still been subjected to a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival.        

Similar to the United Kingdom, France introduced a traffic light system for travellers entering its borders. South Africa was classified as a red list destination, which required all travellers to self-isolate on arrival in France.     


In an effort to resuscitate its tourism sector, France has announced that it will allow entry to all fully vaccinated travellers with approved vaccines. This amendment, which came into effect on Sunday 18 July, allows fully vaccinated travellers to enter France without having to quarantine. South African travellers will need to present vaccination certificates to airlines and at French border controls.           


South Africa is administering the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines in its vaccination rollout strategy. Both vaccines are recognised by French authorities.

Travellers are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 twenty-eight days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and seven days after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.


Although fully vaccinated South Africans are now permitted to enter France, they will still face restrictions when seeking entry to certain public spaces.  French authorities have introduced a health pass (passe sanitaire) requirement for gaining access to certain public spaces in the country.              

Business Insider reports that France’s health pass became mandatory from Wednesday 21 July for access to all events or venues receiving more than 50 people.  

This includes theatres, cinemas, museums, concert halls, festivals, stadiums, and amusement parks.  From the start of August, the health pass will also be required to gain entry to cafés, bars, restaurants, and shopping centres.

The French health pass, which verifies an individual’s vaccination status and the results of their PCR or antigen tests can be obtained via France’s Tous Anti Covid mobile app.