a city with many buildings

With vaccinations continuing to significantly curb the nightmare known as covid-19, restrictions being dropped and travel returning, it’s fun to think about “where’s next” again. For Europe, where tourism accounts for at least 10% of GDP in many countries and employs countless millions, the summer season will be a vital second shot in the arm, after vaccines.

But even with all the good news, many aren’t bothering. Many travelers are favoring easy destinations without testing, such as Mexico, and others don’t want to deal with the added costs.

To sway where your finger lands on the map, France is offering complimentary covid-19 tests not only for citizens, but tourist visitors too.

a city with many buildings

France Offering Free Covid-19 Tests To Tourists

France has always offered complimentary covid-19 tests to citizens, but now they’ll extend that offer to tourists, as well. Yep, even RT-PCR tests will be complimentary.

The country’s minister, Clément Beaune, announced the plan on French radio, stating that France wishes to reclaim its position as the world’s top tourism destination, and it hopes easy and complimentary testing access will help sway visitors to France, rather than elsewhere in Europe.

The vast majority of countries will still require covid-19 testing this summer for all returning travelers, even those who have been vaccinated, and testing costs have been a key concern for weary travelers. France plans to expand the number of “easy access” testing centers in cities and resort areas, and will even help facilitate testing in hotels.

a passport with a positive result

France To Open From June 9th

France plans to welcome outside visitors, including those from the USA beginning June 9th, and offering free covid-19 testing to help facilitate reentry back into the USA will absolutely be a help, for many.

At the time of writing, it wasn’t clear if France plans help with pre-departure testing costs, or if the country will drop negative test requirements for vaccinated travelers. The EU also plans to rollout a “green travel” app, which will help to standardize, clarify and vet vaccination and testing records, hopefully resulting in easier border crossings.

Details will be welcomed as they come, but for now, France is even more attractive than ever, knowing that a test to get travelers home safely will be available to all tourist visitors, gratis.

It’s early, but with Malta offering up €200 to visit and France offering complimentary covid-19 testing, there could be some exciting competition brewing to win your next trip to Europe.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Hi Gilbert…maybe you can help clarify something. Me and two of my adult children (US citizens) have an award trip to Greece leaving June 2. I am working most of the stay. Our return award flight June 9th on AF was cancelled and rebooked to leave June 8…with a 20 hour layover in Paris. If we are entering from Greece can we enter France for the night on June 8th when we arrive with a PCR test coming from a Schengen country? Thanks.

  2. @JeffP, you should check Timatic which has the current travel restrictions. From what I am seeing you will not be able to enter France on June 8th (hopefully on June 9th if their schedule holds). The restriction seems to be that you must not have been outside of the EU for the previous 14 days and you will not meet this criteria. On June 9th if they open to all as planned you should be able to enter if you complete all the right tests/forms/apps/whatever so it sounds like you will be sleeping in the transit zone of the airport unless you have them reschedule you for June 9th or later which they should be able to do for you with no charge if that works for you.

    You can check Timatic through United here: https://www.united.com/en/us/timatic/

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