Evolution of the situation in France & EU

Cinemas reopening
River cruises resuming
Racetracks reopening
Press release

In view of the positive evolution of the health situation in France and in Europe, and according to the European Commission’s recommendations, France has lifted all movement restrictions at its internal European borders (land, air and sea) from June 15th (June 22nd for people coming from Spain). People coming from the European area can therefore enter the French territory without any restriction related to the Covid-19 pandemic. By way of reciprocity, only visitors from the United Kingdom remain subject to quarantine restrictions upon arrival.

Starting July 1st, France and the EU will also gradually and differentially re-open the Schengen area external borders, depending on the outside country's health situation.

« From June 15th, France welcomes again tourists and visitors from all over Europe, which is a huge joy for all the professionals in the sector. As of July 1st, some non-European travelers will also be welcome back (depending on their country’s health situation) in hotels, camping, restaurants, museums or tourist attractions in our territory. Thanks to the actions taken, the health situation has positively evolved and the French tourism stakeholders have implemented all the necessary measures to ensure their clients safety, thanks to the strict application of health protocols approved by the government, with the promise, however, of keeping intact the spirit of vacation and the French art of living! » said Caroline Leboucher, Atout France’s Managing Director.

Since June 22nd:

On June 22nd, the French Government announced new reopening measures for the summer to be applied all over the country, except for Mayotte and French Guiana, where the virus is still active:

  • Cinemas, casinos and gaming halls are opened again and summer camps can welcome young people all over the country, in strict compliance with sanitary protocols.

Since July 1st:

The European Council announced June 30, 2020 its recommendations for first list of residents of non-EU countries permitted to enter for non-essential travel starting July 1st. The travel ban has been lifted for the following 15 countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity), Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Rationale from the EU Council recommendations:

As regards the epidemiological situation, the third countries listed in Annex I (list of countries above) should meet in particular the following criteria:

  • Close to or below the EU average, as it stands on June 15, 2020, of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants.

  • The trend of new cases over the same period in comparison to the previous 14 days is stable or decreasing.

  • The overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting as well as the reliability of available information and data sources and, if needed, the total average score across all dimensions for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU Delegations based on the checklist annexed to the Communication of June 11, 2020 should also be taken into account.

When deciding whether the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU applies to a third-country national, residence in a third country for which the restrictions on non-essential travel have been lifted should be the determining factor (and not nationality).

Every two weeks, the list of third countries referred to in Annex I should be reviewed, and as the case may be updated, by the Council, after close consultation with the Commission and the relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment based on the methodology, criteria and information referred to in paragraph 2.

We are eager to welcome again soon American travelers and U.S. residents to France, and we hope that circumstances will allow that in the near future. To that end, the French Travel Industry has been working hard these last few months, so that they may (re) discover our French Destinations in the best possible sanitary conditions, said Caroline Leboucher, CEO of Atout France.​​

From July 11th (end of the health state of emergency on mainland France):

  • River cruises will again be authorized; in coordination with European partner countries, it may be decided to resume sea cruises between European ports for ships whose capacity does not exceed a limit set by ministerial decree.

  • Stadiums and racetracks will be opened to the public, with a maximum capacity of 5,000 people. As for performance halls, activities involving more than 1,500 people will have to be declared, so that the respect of sanitary protocols can be guaranteed.

  • The maximum capacity of 5,000 people for major events, stadiums and performance halls is in theory in force until September 1st. A further review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out mid-July to decide whether rules can be relaxed for the second half of August.

From September 1st:

Subject to a new assessment of the epidemiological situation, the return from the summer holidays may be marked by further relaxation:

  • Opening of establishments hosting fairs, exhibitions and shows.

  • Authorization of events gathering more than 5,000 people.

  • Potentially, opening of nightclubs and international maritime cruises.

Ms Leboucher went on to say: « France, and especially Paris, are privileged destinations for many professional event organizers. The destination and its capital are well classed in the latest ICCA ranking (respectively in 3rd and 1st position in terms of the number of congresses hosted). The Government’s announcement to authorize again the organization of fairs, exhibitions and shows as of September 1st was welcomed with satisfaction by corporate events and trade show professionals. This gives the sector and its French and international customers the visibility needed to resume activity in this key economic sector. »

Please find here the Government's recommendations updated in real time.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency