COVID-19 Update on restrictions in France, Spain and the rest of Europe.
9th of June – France enters its third and penultimate phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions.
France: No quarantine if fully vaccinated
Travel to France
From 9 June, the French Government plans to reopen to international travel.
But you will only be able to enter from the UK/EU if you provide a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of departure (or antigen test within 48 hours of departure), and can either:
- Prove you are fully vaccinated and it’s two weeks since your second Pfizer, Moderna or Astra Zeneca jab (four weeks after single-dose Janssen jab)
- Have a compelling reason – for example, you have French residency (and must complete a certificate of international travel) – and agree to seven days’ self-isolation
What are the rules in France?
Face coverings are compulsory for anyone aged 11 or over on public transport and in many public places.
- From 9 June, indoor hospitality will reopen (six per table)
- The curfew will be pushed back until 23:00
Spain: No Covid test
Travel to Spain
- No entry restrictions or Covid testing for UK/EU arrivals by air, unless you recently visited a “risk” country
- Complete a health control form before travel
- Present a negative Covid test if crossing the French border into Spain
What are the rules in Spain?
A nationwide state of emergency has ended, but local rules remain.
These include overnight curfews and limits on meeting inside homes or in public. Beach rules vary by region.
- Face coverings (for those over the age of six) should be worn in most public places
- Social distancing of 1.5m
- Most shops, bars and restaurants are open
- Museums and galleries have reduced capacity
- Common areas may be closed/have capacity limits
- You should use stairs rather than lifts
A negative test may be required when checking in.
3rd of May – A 4-step lockdown exit plan in France is announced by The President
Stage 1: 3 May 2021
- Curfew remains in place from 7pm to 6am
- Secondary schools reopen (with some restrictions)
- Lifting of 10 km travel ban between regions
- Non-essential shops remain closed
- Working from home remains in place
- End of daytime permission certificate when leaving household
Stage 2: 19 May
- Curfew pushed from 7pm to 9pm
- Reopening of all commercial activities*
- Reopening of museums, monuments, cinemas, theatres and seated venues**
- Reopening of open-air and indoor sporting activities**
- Swimming pools – access possible for children only
- Working from home remains in place
- Reopening of bar and restaurant outdoor terraces (6 people max per table)
- Gatherings of more than 10 people prohibited
- Reopening of indoor and outdoor sporting venues with spectators**
Stage 3: 9 June
- Curfew pushed from 9pm to 11pm
- Reopening of all cafés and restaurants (6 people max per table)
- Sports and cultural venues open to up to 5,000 people***
- Lifting of travel restrictions for foreign visitors coming into France***
- Limited return to work place
- Reopening of international fairs, exhibitions and salons (up to 5,000 people max)
- Reopening of gyms, sports halls, to include open-air contact sports and interior non-contact sports
- Overseas tourists allowed to visit France***
Stage 4: 30 June
- End of curfew
- Sanitary measures and social distancing to be maintained
- Events of up to 1,000 people – indoor and outdoor – possible***
- End of limited restrictions, according to local health situation and public services
- Limits to the capacity of events on ad-hoc basis, depending on health situation
- Nightclubs remain closed
Under Spain’s decentralised political system, its 17 regions are responsible for handling the pandemic, although the central government could intervene to declare a national lockdown as it did in March. In the north of Spain the Basque Country changed some of their restrictions slightly on April 20th. These will remain in place until the end of the state of alarm on May 9th, likewise in Navarra and Cantabria.
10th of July 2020 – More easing of restrictions and strict monitoring
France has now moved to Stage 3 and has lifting the State of Emergency. Here is a list of what changes and what restrictions are still in place:
- All public places are now opened with the exception of night clubs and events (festivals, concerts, etc) of more than 5,000 people.
- Most public places request wearing masks and offer hydro-alcoolic gel at the entrance for people to desinfect their hands. This measure is to be made compulsory from 1st of August 2020.
- Quarantine measures lifted with the UK. From 1st of July, people arriving from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay will no longer be subject to restrictions on the grounds of preventing risks linked to the COVID-19 epidemic when entering Metropolitan France.
- A new flight schedule has been released offering many direct routes to Bordeaux for the summer: Routes confirmed to Biarritz Routes confirmed from Bordeaux
Spain has also moved to stage 3, with the exception of a few targeted areas in the NorthEast of the country reverted temporarily to stage 2 due to particularly worrying high levels of declared cases.
5th of June 2020 – Measures in France and Spain to ease restrictions
France has now moved to Stage 2. Here is a list of what changes and what restrictions are in place:
- Travel restrictions lifted within France. Reopening of borders expected on 15th of June and has passed a law allowing it to impose quarantine on visitors from specific nations it deems necessary, with reciprocity a key factor.
- Schools are reopening,
- Cafes and restaurants can reopen in all areas of France. All venues must maintain a 1m gap between tables. Staff will wear masks and groups will be limited to 10 people;
- Masks must be worned in all public transports and certains shops or busy streets;
- Groups are still limited to a maximum of 10 people in public spaces;
- Working from home is still recommended;
- Parks and gardens have reopened.
- Beaches and lakes are reopened.
- Gyms and swimming pools have reopened in our region,
- All museums and monuments are gradually reopening.
Spain will reopen to international tourism from July 1.
Authorities hope to allow holidaymakers from some low-risk countries to visit before that date, after a national state of emergency ends on June 21.
1st of May 2020 – The French government has announced plans to begin to relax the current lockdown
On Wednesday, we received some good news concerning outdoor sports. As part of this first phase the government will allow golf courses to reopen from 11th May. This is of course great for us, however there will be strict guidelines in place to ensure “safe golf”.
The French Federation of Golf (FFG) has already issued a booklet to the golf clubs detailing all the measures to be put in place for a reopening under the best possible sanitary conditions. This document is the result of work carried out by ffgolf, ADGF (Association of Golf Directors of France), GEGF (Grouping of French Golf Entrepreneurs), AGREF (French Association of Golf Course Maintenance Staff Golf), GFGA (Groupement Français des Golfs Associatifs) and PGA France.
French health authorities yesterday released a map showing the areas of the country that are the most affected by the virus. The map is set to serve as a reference when the country eases lockdown measures after May 11th and will be reviewed regularly. The government said “green zones” will be able to lift some restrictions more rapidly.
The South-West France is the least affected region which gives us hope that we’ll get back to some sort of normality by the summer : access to beaches, reopening of restaurants and bars.
Holiday accommodation is not currently under lockdown measures. A lot of hotels have decided to close during the confinement period due to the lack of clients. Holidays homes and apartments have stayed available. Most of them, particularly in our region, are scheduling to reopen in June with specific distancing measures.
On another note, the Bordeaux Wine Festival which was due to be held in June has been postponed to next year from 17th – 20th June 2021. This famous event was celebrating its 20th anniversary with over 600,000 visitors expected. Many of our clients have decided to reschedule. Have a look here!