The move comes two weeks after the European Union removed the US and Israel from its “white list” of countries from outside the EU from which non-essential travel is permitted due to an increase in COVID-19 infections there; and recommended that member states reinstate entry restrictions on US travelers.
The EU recommendations are not binding, however, and it's up to each individual country to decide whether or not to impose them. Some countries such as Italy have tightened restrictions on US travelers by adding testing requirements, others such as the Netherlands have banned anyone coming from the US for non-essential travel, and then nations such as Denmark, Spain and—now France—have effectively banned those who aren't vaccinated.
France's new rules come into effect at midnight on Sunday, September 12 when the US and Israel are downgraded from the green to orange list. Travelers coming from both countries who are vaccinated can visit for any purpose, such as tourism, business or to visit friends and family. They will not be required to undergo any additional restrictions such as quarantining or testing, but they must present proof of vaccination.
France accepts vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxevria and Covishield) or Johnson & Johnson. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated seven days after the second dose of the two-shot vaccines, and four weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. According to the US Embassy in France, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) card is acceptable evidence of vaccination for entry into France.
People coming from orange countries who are not fully vaccinated can only enter France if they meet the criteria for "essential travel", and even then they will need to present a negative COVID-19 test; either a PCR test (conducted no more than 72 hours before traveling to France) or an antigen test (conducted no more than 48 hours before travel). They will also need to quarantine for seven days upon arrival, either at their accommodation or at a private home.
The rules apply to anyone 12 years and older. Children under the age of 11 are exempt from testing.
Once in France, a Pass Sanitaire (health pass) is required for accessing restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, and long-distance train travel. The pass indicates the holder is fully vaccinated or has recently tested negative for COVID-19. In this situation, the CDC card will not be accepted as proof of vaccination and Americans must apply for a QR code that's compatible with the French system: here's how to do that.