Are you thinking about traveling to France during the COVID-19 pandemic? I live in France and can tell you key information before you travel. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
1. Check quarantine rules
Before you travel to France, check the COVID-19 rules to determine if you need to quarantine when you arrive. If you have to quarantine, it’s probably best if you don’t travel at all, but make the best decision for you based on your situation.
2. Wear a mask
Right now, you’ll need to make sure you have a mask handy with you at all times. If you think you may need a mask, just bring it. It’s easier to have it than to not be able to do something because you don’t have it.
You are required to wear masks in all shops. This originally wasn’t the case, but is now mandatory due to an increase in cluster cases in the country. You may also have to wear a mask on the streets in certain cities. Masks are required in some places in Lyon, Paris, and Marseille to name a few. In Lyon specifically, not all streets require masks, so you may be able to avoid it by walking down a less busy street.
Masks are required on all public transportation. This includes buses, trams, metro, and shared rides like Uber. There are heavy fines if you are caught not wearing your mask on public transportation (over 100 euros!). Don’t be like the many people I see that have a mask but wear it underneath their chin instead of on their face. It defeats the purpose of even having a mask.
As always, if you don’t feel comfortable, wear a mask.
3. don’t rely on google for correct information
This one we have learned the hard way. We have gone to multiple restaurants and shops that said they were open on Google. Jokes on us! Google may not have the most up to date information. A feature that is really helpful on Google is to see when the business last updated their store hours. Check to see when the business last made this update. If you are searching online to see if something is open, double check on an alternate source like the company’s Instagram or Facebook if possible. Check to see when they made their last post. If the company is posting regularly, their pages may have more accurate information on if they are open or not than Google.
Make sure to report inaccurate information you find on Google! This will help everyone.
4. respect boundaries
Many shops, buildings, and some public transportation have tried to set boundaries to maintain your distance from others. Respect the boundary! Your perception of personal space may be different than someone else’s perception, but give everyone space and look for markers on where to stand.
Do not sit in seats that are blocked off intentionally. Check the floors of many shops and buildings to see if they have designated a path for which you should go. You may see arrows or signs that help point you in the right direction. You may also see signs that designate where you should stand when checking out of a shop or grocery store to maintain a safe distance from others. These are there for a reason! It may take you a few extra seconds to go in the path they’ve designated, but consider it a way to mitigate your risk as well as others risk for the virus.
5. Limit your party size
France does not allow groups of ten or more to gather. If you are traveling alone or as a family, this is not something you will have to worry about! But if you are coming to visit friends or family, keep this in mind as you venture out.
6. know who to call
(Hint: not ghostbusters). It’s important to know what to do if you arrive in France and start feeling sick. If you aren’t feeling well, dial 15. If you have a speech or hearing impairment, text 114. And stay where you are! Try to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
As always, the most up to date information can be found on gouvernement.fr.
If you found this information helpful, please share with your friends and leave me a comment below!
This page was last updated on August 26, 2020.