Last updated on July 15h, 2020
France: Post-lockdown Guide
Europe is slowly opening up its borders to allow for travel within the EU. With more countries being added every day. To many of us, France is the country of fashion and love. Edith Piaf serenading you from every speaker throughout your house and a bottle of French wine by the hand.
Dreaming about your past journeys to your favourite spot in the south of France? The dream is back on. From Paris to Marseille there is something for everyone. Forget about the clouds and home offices and get your sunglasses to experience the French, “Je ne sais quoi”.
Below we will describe the new rules and regulations for visiting France and your travel possibilities inside the country as well as some travel treasures to tantalise your soul.
From June 15, travellers from most EU countries will be free to travel to France without having to quarantine or needing to show certificates proving they are COVID-free.
From July 10, all UK travellers returning from a holiday to France do not need to self-isolate for 14 days once returning to the country. This is great news and will help us to travel more freely in mind, body and soul while following the local rules and regulations. Find the full list of included countries here.
Rules inside the country
France had begun easing its restrictions from May 11. Shops, schools and some markets opened slowly with face masks being required on public transportation and in certain shops. From June 2, citizens were allowed to go to a restaurant, bar and cafe with a 1-metre distance between tables to keep to social distancing rules.
Events of more than 10 people are currently banned. Cinemas are open from June 22 with social distancing enforced.
Due to Paris being heavily impacted by the virus, restaurants are only allowed to be open for outdoor sitting in the city. Citizens can also travel more than 100 kilometres from their residences.
First time in France? Be prepared to find it eerily quiet without tourists like in this video about Paris.
France Travel Treasures
Mont Saint-Michel Bay
Do you love unique and spellbinding views of beauty? Then Mont Saint-Michel is the perfect place for you. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Mont Saint-Michel is 66 kilometres from Rennes by car. The Abbey was built between the 11th and 16th centuries and currently houses 50 including monks and nuns.
Access to the old town is free while the cost for admission is €10 for adults and children under 18 years old are free if you want to go inside the abbey. Parking costs €9,10 in the low season and €14,20 in the high season. More information can be found on the official website. The picture speaks for itself, a must-see destination in France.
Nestled in the Dordogne Valley, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is a step into another world, the castle and surroundings is a beautifully maintained look at medieval architecture and medieval life. There is a medieval weapons museum with many authentic antiques as well as many videos explaining the history and impact of the castle and the area. The castle also overlooks the Dordogne, 360-degree views of the river.
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is 2h30 minutes away from Bordeaux and can be accessed by train and car with the nearest airport (Bergerac Airport) being 65 kilometres away from the destination. Costs for a visit are €10,90 per adult, €5,50 for children between 10 and 17 years old and children under 10 years old are free. Guided Tours cost €45 for a group of up to 45 people. The opening hours for July - September are 09:00 to 20:00. More information can be found on their website.
The French Riviera is a well-known area in France for a beach experience with significant sights such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes. These destinations are popular among travellers, with a reputation for being the playground of the wealthy. What if I want something less pretentious? The answer is Menton. Menton is a beach destination that is more off the beaten path, still, part of the French Riviera, the town has all the excitements and attractions of the more popular towns along the same coastline.
The proximity of Italy to Menton gives the town a certain Italian flair. If you are looking for a better blend of luxury and more affordable destinations. Menton is for you. Nice is the closest city to Menton with a distance of only 38 kilometres between the two. There are many great culinary spots in the city as well as the world's number one restaurant, Mirazur. Enjoy stunning white beaches to relax the day away.
In the south of France, there is a travel treasure that is unlike the rest. The Verdon Gorge is located only a few hours drive from the French Riviera. This destination is more on the adventurous side of travel with an emphasis on adventure travel.
Hundreds of kilometres long the Verdon Gorge is utter tranquillity. Take a kayak down the river and experience spectacular views from your kayak, have a swim in the clear water and most importantly relax or take a hike above the river to get even better views of the surroundings.
To excite your inner Francophile, we will end this list with a classic French town Rocamadour, known as the vertical village is perched on the side of a limestone cliff. The village is a well-known pilgrimage destination as it has many churches and religious artefacts from hundreds of years ago.
A visit to the Monkey Forest (La Forêt des Singes) is a must if you're travelling with kids as it is a natural reserve that houses 150 endangered Barbary macaque monkeys that roam freely in 20 hectares of forest, a wonderful learning experience. Breathtaking views and historical churches make Rocamadour a must-see destination.
Europe is slowly opening and so will France. In these delicate times, we need to adhere to the rules and regulations of countries to make sure that we can travel for years to come and that worldwide travel can start again. Follow respectfully the new guidelines so we can travel free together.
Please check the website of GOV.UK to keep up to date with the latest travel advice for France. Please be aware that The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
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