Countries around the world are changing their travel measures as worldwide COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to climb and new case counts decline.
For instance, the governments of both the United Kingdom and France recently announced significant changes to their COVID-19 travel requirements.
Britain’s government announced this week that it will remove all remaining COVID-19 travel measures as part of its Living with COVID-19 plan. The change takes effect Friday, March 18, at 4 a.m.
“The UK is leading the world in removing all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions, and today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work everyone in this country has put in place to roll out the vaccine and protect each other,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement. “I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today — providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers ahead of the Easter holidays.”
Here’s what that means: Beginning Friday, March 18, at 4 a.m., travelers — regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status — no longer need to complete and submit a passenger locator form. Secondly, travelers who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 will no longer need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test and a post-arrival test 2 days after arriving in the UK.
You can learn more about traveling to the UK here.
If you’ve been thinking about traveling to France from the U.S., there are two important changes you need to know about.
The first involves actually traveling to France.
France uses a so-called “traffic light” system of COVID-19 related travel measures that places restrictions on travelers based on the current case counts in the country they are traveling from. In an important change, France has added the U.S. to its “green list” of countries.
Consequently, travelers from the U.S. who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can travel to France for any reason — including tourism. Also, they no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken before traveling.
Travelers from the U.S. who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 can still travel for any reason to France. However, they must show either proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a certificate of recent recovery from COVID-19 at the border upon arrival.
Secondly, beginning last Monday, March 14, France lifted its COVID-19 vaccination passport requirement.
“We are entering a new phase of easing health measures,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote on Twitter. “Beginning March 14, the vaccination pass will be suspended wherever it applied and the obligation to wear a mask will be lifted everywhere, including classes, except in public transport.”
In other words, people no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter places such as restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, and fairs. The change also means face masks are no longer required in most places.
Know Before You Go
If you’re thinking about traveling to the UK or France, keep in mind that both countries remain on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of “Level 4” countries with “very high levels of COVID-19.” Consequently, the CDC urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the United Kingdom and avoid travel to France.
Travel restrictions are changing rapidly in many countries around the world. To stay up to date, be sure to read all of our travel news content.