Overnight accommodation in downtown Paris, France
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Including French overseas departments
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips to France including all French overseas territories will be due to high numbers of infections warned.
France is very badly hit by COVID-19. Nationwide, the number of new infections exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why France is classified as an area with a particularly high risk of infection (high incidence area). For the overseas territories, see Special features in the regions / overseas territories.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Santé Publique France provide current and detailed figures.
Entry from Germany and from all EU countries as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican as well as Australia, Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom is possible, although France is his EU internal borders continued to be controlled until the end of October 2021.
Travelers from these countries must show a negative PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before the start of the journey. Anyone arriving from these countries by air, land or sea must also submit a declaration of freedom from symptoms.
Exceptions to the test requirement apply to entry by land of less than 24 hours duration and within a radius of less than 30 km from one's own place of residence, for business trips whose urgency or frequency do not permit such tests and for business trips in commercial road traffic Act. The existence of an exception must be proven with suitable documents.
Entry from and exit in the direction of all other countries and the French overseas territories is only permitted for compelling personal or family, urgent health or professional reasons that cannot be postponed. The existence of an exceptional circumstance must be proven by suitable documents and a corresponding declaration, which may have to be presented to a transport company before departure. For entry from the aforementioned countries and overseas territories, a negative COVID-19 test (PCR, only in exceptional cases antigen with detection of the protein SARS-COV-20) carried out no more than 72 hours before departure must be proven and a declaration of the presence of one recognized reason for entry.
People arriving from non-EU countries and overseas territories are obliged to go into a seven-day quarantine immediately after entering the country. A new test is then required.
Entries from certain states that are severely affected by virus variants are subject to even stricter test obligations prior to departure (PCR test no more than 36 hours before departure, possibly 72 hours old combined with an antigen test that is no more than 24 hours old) and a 10-day quarantine obligation upon arrival, subject to a fine in France at a location to be specified in advance. The corresponding list of states and the declaration to be submitted are published on the website of the French Ministry of the Interior in French and English.
The information for travelers is continuously updated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For trips to Corsica and the French overseas territories, see Special features in the regions / overseas areas.
Transit and onward travel
It is possible to travel through from EU and Schengen countries; within France, those passing through between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. require a valid reason for the exception to the curfew in force. For details see Restrictions in the country. Passengers in transit by air should be able to prove their ability to make a connecting trip. EU citizens are allowed to travel through France from third countries to their place of residence in the EU.
In general, those in the section apply to all travelers passing through entry country-specific additional requirements mentioned (possibly negative PCR test, explanations on the reason for entry, freedom from COVID-19 symptoms, observance of the curfew). The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers more detailed information.
There are opportunities to travel by train or plane to and from Germany, but their availability is very limited due to the exit restrictions within France.
Restrictions in the country
A curfew, subject to a fine, applies nationwide from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The French government will provide information on the current regulations. Certain exceptions can be asserted in urgent cases and with a certificate of exit. The certificates can be filled out as a blank form to print out, online or in the French Corona app "Tous Anti Covid". Since the French and German Corona apps are currently not compatible with each other, regular commuters or cross-border commuters should install and use both apps at the same time until further notice.
Dining establishments, non-essential shops, museums, concert halls, sports halls, amusement parks, discos and similar venues are closed. Further information can be found on the website of the French government.
Nationwide, everyone over the age of 11 is obliged to wear mouth and nose protection in all publicly accessible, closed rooms (e.g. airports, train stations, banks, shops). The obligation to wear a face mask also applies to all public transport (e.g. plane, train, metro, bus, taxis and shared taxis). Transport companies must - as far as possible, e.g. by making appropriate seat reservations - ensure the distance in the means of transport, airports, train stations etc. and provide disinfectants.
In most French cities, the local authorities are starting to extend the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection in public to other public places, streets or areas with heavy traffic. In Paris and the surrounding departments of Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne as well as in Marseille, Toulouse and Strasbourg, masks are mandatory throughout the city. Mouth and nose protection must, among other things, filter more than 90% of exhaled particles with a size of 3 micrometers (commercially available surgical disposable masks, appropriately certified, commercially available cloth masks).
Special features in the regions / overseas territories
For entry to Corsica a negative PCR test and a corresponding written declaration is required, subject to a fine. More information is available from the prefecture of Corsica.
Travel to and from the overseas territories to mainland France is only permitted for compelling personal or family reasons, for urgent health reasons or for professional reasons that cannot be postponed. The existence of an exceptional situation must be proven by suitable documents and a corresponding declaration, which may have to be presented to a transport company before departure. Travelers to Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthélemy and Réunion must present a negative PCR test result that is not older than 72 hours upon departure, as well as a self-declaration that there are no symptoms and an obligation to adhere to a seven-day quarantine after entry sign the subsequent PCR test. Otherwise the trip cannot be started.
With regard to the spread of regional corona virus variants, travelers from French Guiana with the destination of the French West Indies or mainland France must show a negative PCR test result before departure and commit to a seven-day quarantine after entry with a subsequent test, the same applies to travelers from Mayotte and Réunion.
Travelers to French Polynesia also need a negative PCR test result of 72 hours or less before departure and a self-declaration that they are symptom-free. In addition, a health insurance covering e.g. COVID-19 or a commitment to cover costs is required, as well as online registration with your own travel and stay data (ETIS - Electronic Travel Information System). Upon entry, travelers receive a test kit for a COVID-19 self-test, which must be carried out four days after entry. Further information is available from the High Commission (Prefecture) and the Government of French Polynesia.
The government of New Caledonia provides information on conditions under which entry to New Caledonia, which is generally not permitted, is exceptionally possible.
- Note the detailed information on the health situation based on data from the ECDC, existing restrictions including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers and mobile coronavirus contact tracking and warning apps on Re-open EU.
- Obtain regular information on detailed measures from the French government and, if necessary, on the website of the overseas territory you would like to visit, as well as in German on the website of the German diplomatic missions in France or the French Foreign Ministry.
- If you want to enter a French overseas territory not via central France but from another state or another overseas region, other regulations may apply. Please find out exactly the area you would like to travel to before departure.
- Use the French Corona app "Tous Anti Covid" when you are in France.
- Pay attention to the local information (notices etc.) regarding the mask requirement.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, stay in your accommodation. If you have serious complaints (fever, shortness of breath), call the emergency number 15 of the ambulance service (SAMU). Only go to a doctor if you call in advance.
- Always follow the advice of local authorities.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
After the end of the transition period for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) on December 31, 2020, longer waiting times must be expected in the ports of the French Channel coast for border clearance of goods traffic to the United Kingdom.
The French government's Brexit website provides more information, including information for truck drivers in German.
- If you intend to cross the ferry from France to the United Kingdom, expect longer waiting times for check-in.
- Inquire about changed customs regulations from January 1, 2021 at the French customs administration on + 33-811 204 444, from abroad on + 33-172 40 78 50.
- Note the detailed information on Get Ready for Brexit.
France has been the target of several serious terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2015, including in Paris, Nice, Strasbourg and Lyon. In October 2020, various Islamist attacks, some of which were fatal, took place on individuals, including in the greater Paris area and in southern France. As a result, France has declared the highest terror warning level.
The security situation in France, particularly in Paris and other major cities, remains tense. In France, the “Vigipirate” plan applies to countering terrorist threats. Depending on the threat situation, it provides for various measures to protect the population.
At train stations, airports, on trains and subways, there are other increased baggage and personal controls. Handbags may also be checked at entrances (to museums or shopping centers). In many train stations there is no longer any possibility to store luggage.
- Be especially vigilant in busy locations and on special occasions.
- Find out about media offers, especially social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter) of the French government and security agencies.
- Label your luggage with your name and address, even when traveling by train.
- Please also note the worldwide safety information.
In the past there were explosive attacks on public institutions, which were directed against symbols of state authority (gendarmerie and police stations, buildings of the financial administration). Against this background, a risk to foreign travelers staying in the vicinity of such buildings cannot be ruled out.
In Mayotte and La Réunion in particular, as well as in French Guiana, there are occasional demonstrations and strikes, which can also lead to road blockades and, if they last longer, to supply bottlenecks.
- Be careful and avoid demonstrations.
- Plan your stay accordingly.
- Find out in good time about restrictions on local public transport, e.g. from the Paris Transport Authority (RATP), and make sure of the opening times of museums and other sights.
Paris and the big cities, especially destinations and tourist attractions that are highly frequented by tourists, are affected by petty crimes such as pickpockets, but also by attacks on foreign visitors, especially in local and long-distance public transport. There is also an increased risk on night trains with sleeper and couchette cars in the south of France.
Attacks on vehicles in road traffic, e.g. from mopeds, are reported in particular from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and the eastern part of the Occitanie region. Activities of organized gangs are also recorded at rest areas.
In addition, there may be significant traffic disruptions on the route to the Calais ferry terminal from people trying to enter the UK illegally.
Some French overseas departments, such as Mayotte in particular, have reported increasing poverty crime. The possession and use of weapons is also partly widespread in the overseas departments.
- In large crowds such as at airports, train stations, on local and long-distance public transport and especially on night trains, be particularly attentive and watch out for your valuables.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Do not carry unnecessary valuables with you and make copies of identification documents in case of emergencies and keep lists of important telephone numbers, accessible and secure on the Internet at all times.
- If possible, leave valuables out of sight in the vehicle while driving, leave vehicles locked and do not park them unattended.
- Only stay overnight with motorhomes and caravans on guarded campsites.
- Do not spend the night in rest areas, especially not along the highways in the north-south direction to the south of France or to Spain and all of the south of France.
- Be particularly careful when traveling in the overseas departments, especially in poorer areas, and do not resist an attack.
Nature and climate
Climate, floods, autumn storms, danger of avalanches
The climate ranges from the Atlantic sea climate to continental in the center and east and Mediterranean on the Mediterranean coast to alpine in the mountains.
in the overseas regions there is a tropical or subtropical climate.
Flash floods occur more frequently, especially in summer and early autumn, which have claimed fatalities in the past.
Occasional severe autumn storms can occur in the Mediterranean, especially from August to November.
There is a risk of avalanches in the French Alps during the winter months.
Bush and forest fires
Especially in southern France and Corsica, bush and forest fires regularly occur, especially in the summer months due to the prevailing climatic conditions with periods of drought.In areas affected by forest fires, traffic routes are often closed, which can lead to failures in the energy supply and communication infrastructure.
Tropical storms in the overseas departments
In the Caribbean, the cyclone season is from June to the end of November (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy), in the Indian Ocean from January to April (La Réunion and Mayotte), in the South Pacific from November to April (French Polynesia and New Zealand) Caledonia). During this time, tropical storms must be expected.
Earthquakes and volcanoes
New Caledonia, Wallis-et-Futuna, La Réunion and Mayotte as well as the Caribbean overseas areas are located in partly seismically very active zones, which is why there can also be severe earthquakes and considerable volcanic activity.
- Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
- Find out about the weather on an ongoing basis. You can get the latest information from the media, e. B. on Météo France, and on statements from the prefectures and municipalities in which you are staying.
- Pay attention to advertisements on the motorways, barriers and warnings. You can also find information on traffic on the Bison Futé website.
- In the event of a storm warning, pay particular attention to the information on hurricanes abroad or the information from the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief.
- When traveling to the overseas departments, familiarize yourself with what to do in the event of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.
Responsible foreign agency for the overseas departments
The German embassy in Paris is the responsible consular mission also for the overseas departments of France. In Papeete (Tahiti, French Polynesia), Fort-de-France (Martinique), Nouméa (New Caledonia) and Sainte-Clotilde (La Réunion) there are German honorary consuls to whom travelers can turn in emergencies. Matoury (French Guiana) and Baie-Mahault (Guadeloupe) may also be served by Fort-de-France.
Controls will take place at France's national borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain as well as at the air and sea borders until at least April 2021. There may therefore be restrictions in travel. Long waiting times must be expected, especially when entering from Great Britain.
The onward journey from the French Antilles to other Caribbean islands or e.g. leaving the Dutch part of the island of St. Martin (Sint Maarten, Juliana Airport) is only possible with a passport.
- Always carry an identification document (passport or identity card) with you.
- Plan your stay accordingly.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
In addition to a domestic flight network, there is a well-developed railway network with high-speed trains and bus connections as well as well-functioning local public transport in the cities. Disabilities in local and long-distance public transport (by air and land) must be expected in the event of strikes. Up-to-date information on disabilities is also available in German, e.g. RATP.
Almost all motorways in France are toll roads.
A red light in the shape of a cross on the back of the traffic lights of the oncoming traffic signals that they are red and that a quick left turn is possible with their own green traffic lights, provided there are no privileged pedestrians at the intersection. A yellow flashing arrow when the traffic lights are switched to red signals possible priority cross traffic.
At traffic junctions that are designed and signposted as a roundabout (“carrefour giratoire”), the driver has to give way. Unless otherwise signposted, the following applies - even in intersections similar to roundabouts ("rond point") - right before left, i.e. that incoming traffic generally has the right of way. In the case of multi-lane roundabout-like crossings, the vehicle driving in the outer lane must be given priority.
Solid yellow stripes on the edge of the lane mean that there is no stopping or no parking.
Blue markings on the edge of the lane indicate limited and possibly chargeable parking with parking discs ("Zones Bleues").
The alcohol limit is 0.5; for novice drivers in the first two years 0.2.
The maximum speed on country roads was reduced from 90 to 80 km / h on July 1, 2018.
In the inner city of Paris, which is surrounded by the Boulevard Périphérique, and numerous other French cities, environmental zones have now been introduced. Regardless of the type of drive, these may only be driven on with vehicles that are marked with a French environmental badge "Certificat Qualité de l’Air" (also "Crit’Air"), which is graded according to the pollutant emissions. No environmental badge will be issued to motor vehicles registered for the first time before January 1, 1997 and motorcycles registered for the first time before June 1, 1999. Violations can be punished with fines. Areas within the environmental zones can be blocked for vehicles of certain pollution classes or parking bans can be set up. German environmental badges are not recognized. The French environmental badge Certificat Qualité de l'Air can also be ordered for vehicles registered in Germany based on information from the valid German registration papers.
In anticipation of nationwide regulations, the city of Paris has issued a driving ban (135 EUR) on sidewalks with a fine for small electrically operated vehicles.
- Find out more when traveling by car, e.g. on Bison Futé.
The German driving license is sufficient.
There are no indications of any particular difficulties; acceptance is particularly good in large cities.
A general smoking ban applies in all public places.
Offenses against the Narcotics Act are punished with imprisonment even for small quantities, at least a flat-rate fine of 200 EUR.
It is not allowed in France to cover one's face in public places. Offenses can lead to fines of up to 150 euros.
Money / credit cards
The means of payment is the euro. Withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with credit cards are possible everywhere.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. Legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods can only be obtained directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: Yes
- Provisional identity card: Yes, must be valid
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
France is a party to the European Convention on the Regulation of Passenger Traffic between the member states of the Council of Europe of December 13, 1957. Travel documents other than the temporary identity card may not have expired for more than one year.
Travel to the French overseas departments
Entry into the overseas departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Mayotte and La Réunion as well as the overseas territories of French Polynesia, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy and New Caledonia is possible for German nationals following documents possible:
- Passport: Yes
- Identity card: Yes, but see notes
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid.
If the flight route includes a stopover on islands that do not belong to the French overseas territories, e.g. currently via Mauritius to La Réunion or via Tobago to Martinique, ID checks may be carried out. In this case, a passport that is valid for at least 6 months is required for entry, the identity card is not sufficient. This also applies to return flights from St. Martin from the Dutch part of the island, Sint Maarten, Juliana Airport.
- If necessary, please inquire with your airline before commencing your journey.
- To be on the safe side, take a passport that is valid for at least 6 months with you.
Individuals under the age of 15 traveling alone should carry an officially certified declaration of consent from their legal guardian.
The import and export of goods is subject to the provisions of the European Union. The principle of no physical checks does not exclude random checks in the context of police surveillance of borders and police controls of cross-border traffic.
Travelers must carry cash (cash, money orders, promissory notes, stocks, bonds and interest coupons / coupons) of € 10,000 or more (the equivalent value for other currencies) when entering the EU
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