This‌ ‌article‌ ‌is‌ ‌reviewed‌ ‌regularly‌ ‌(on‌ ‌a‌ ‌monthly‌ ‌basis)‌ ‌by‌ ‌‌Wego‌’s‌ ‌editorial‌ ‌team‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌content‌ ‌is‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌date‌ ‌&‌ ‌accurate‌.‌ 

Last updated 4 June 2021

Months after its first few cases were reported, COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on all around the world, wreaking havoc on stability and economy. But countries are fighting back with travel restrictions, quarantine measures, and perhaps primarily, upping the testing capacities.

If you’re in France or are looking to travel to the country, what do you need to know about COVID-19 testing in France?

 

Testing requirements for visitors entering France

According to France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs website, depending on your point of departure and if you are over 11 years, you will be subject to a COVID-19 test before boarding or arrival.

 

Travellers arriving from European Space:

If you are arriving from a country within the European space, you can enter France. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You are not required to self-isolate.The countries which comprise the European space are all the European Union Member States, as well as Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

You will need to present the following to the transport operator and border control authorities:

  • A sworn declaration stating that:
    • You do not show signs of COVID-19;
    • To your knowledge, you have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 14 days before travel;
    • You agree to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival in France;
  • If you are aged 11 or over, a negative RT-PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.

Where an RT-PCR test cannot be carried out in the country of departure, you can ask the embassy or consulate of France for a specific document called a “PCR test exemption” (Dispense de test PCR), subject to pressing grounds for travel (limited to a very small number of circumstances) and prior acceptance of:

  • A virological screening test capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 (antigen/lateral flow test) upon arrival
  • A 7-day isolation period in a hotel designated by the French authorities, subject to presentation of a booking;
  • An RT-PCR virological test at the end of the isolation period. In countries where antigen/lateral flow tests are available, the “PCR test exemption” is valid only if accompanied by the results of such a test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding and which does not identify COVID-19 contamination.
    The costs of the isolation period are at your own expense.

Health controls do not apply if you are a:

  • road haulier
  • cross-border worker
  • resident of a cross-border area (border within a 30 km radius of your residence, and for a duration of less than 24h).

Arrivals from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, or South Korea.

If you are arriving from one of those countries, you can enter France. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You must self-isolate for seven days after your arrival.

For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry the same documents as mentioned above.

Arrivals from the UK

If you are in the UK, you can only enter France if you have pressing grounds for travel or if you are an EU national or a permanent resident in France. You must comply with health check measures to enter France (PCR or antigen test less than 48hrs before departure and sworn declaration). You will have to self-isolate for 7 days.

For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry three documents in addition to required travel documents:

  • An exempted international travel certificate for travel to France, available here in English and in French. This certificate includes the list of exemptions. If you are an international road haulier, this certificate will be replaced by the European certificate.
  • A sworn declaration stating that:
    • You do not show signs of COVID-19;
    • To your knowledge, you have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 14 days before travel;
    • You agree to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival in France;
    • You agree to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival in France, and to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at the end of the isolation period. As matters stand, given the low prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the UK, you wil not be subject to mandatory control visit provisions during your isolation period.
  • If you are aged 11 or over, a negative PCR or antigen test result, carried out less than 48 hours before departure.

Arrivals from Argentina, Bahrein, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey and Uruguay

If you are in one of these countries, you can only enter France (including French overseas territories) if you have pressing grounds for travel. You must comply with health check measures to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You will be subject to a compulsory 10-day quarantine.

Note: if you transited through one of these countries during your trip, but you did not exit the international zone of the airport, the relevant rules are not in this paragraph but in the paragraph regarding arrivals from the country in which you started your trip.

For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry four documents in addition to required travel documents:

  • An exempted international travel certificate for travel to France, available here in English and in French. This certificate includes the list of exemptions. If you are an international road haulier, this certificate will be replaced by the European certificate.
  • A sworn declaration stating that:
    • You do not show signs of COVID-19;
    • To your knowledge, you have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 14 days before travel;
    • You agree to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to an RT-PCR test for COVID-19 upon arrival in France;
    • You are aware that you will have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in France.
  • For every traveller aged 11 or over, a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 36 hours before boarding, or otherwise, a negative PCR test result carried out less than 72 hours before boarding and a negative antigen test carried out less than 24 hours before boarding.
  • Proof of quarantine location (your home, or other appropriate accommodation) and, where necessary, access details for inspectors.

You will not be allowed to board without these documents.

Arrivals from any other country

If you are arriving from a country other than those listed above, you cannot enter France unless you have an exemption. You must comply with health requirements to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You must self-isolate for seven days after your arrival.

For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry three documents in addition to required travel documents:

  • An exempted international travel certificate for travel to France, available here in English and in French. This certificate includes the list of exemptions. If you are an international road haulier, this certificate will be replaced by the European certificate.
  • A sworn declaration stating that:
    • You do not show signs of COVID-19;
    • To your knowledge, you have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 14 days before travel;
    • You agree to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival in France;
    • You agree to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival in France, and to submit, if you are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at the end of the isolation period.
  • If you are aged 11 or over, a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.

Where an RT-PCR test cannot be carried out in the country of departure, you can ask the embassy or consulate of France for a specific document called a “PCR test exemption” (Dispense de test PCR), subject to pressing grounds for travel (limited to a very small number of circumstances) and prior acceptance of:

  • A virological screening test capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 (antigen/lateral flow test) upon arrival
  • A 7-day isolation period in a hotel designated by the French authorities, subject to presentation of a booking;
  • An RT-PCR virological test at the end of the isolation period. In countries where antigen/lateral flow tests are available, the “PCR test exemption” is valid only if accompanied by the results of such a test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding and which does not identify COVID-19 contamination.
    The costs of the isolation period are at your own expense.

You will not be allowed to board without these documents.

Travellers from overseas territories:

Each overseas territory sets its own entry conditions and possible restrictions (curfew, confinement, etc.) based on the local epidemiological situation. You are therefore highly advised to visit the website of the prefecture or high commission of your destination before you travel.

Travel between Metropolitan France and some overseas territories is only possible if you have pressing grounds for travel.

You must in that case have a travel certificate for overseas territories, available on the Interior Ministry’s website.

The specific conditions for each overseas territory are available on the website of the prefecture or high commission of the relevant territory.

Testing at Paris airport

Passengers who weren’t able to take an RT-PCR test prior to departure can get tested at the Charles de Gaulle airport at Terminal 2E and Terminal 2AC.

Note that connecting passengers cannot get tested during their transit at Paris airports (CDG and Orly).

All passengers arriving from Argentina, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay must undergo a new antigenic test at the airport on arrival in France and a mandatory 10-day quarantine with proof of where the passengers undertake to quarantine.

When should I get tested in France?

Common signs of the infection listed on France government website include respiratory symptoms, fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

If you are experiencing these symptoms or recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you can locate a general practitioner nearby online to make an appointment. You’ll then get a prescription to be tested at the nearest facility.

Alternatively, if you came into contact with someone who tested positive, you may be contacted for tracing purpose. You’ll be directed to the nearest testing facility.

Where can I get tested in France?

A geographical map of labs performing COVID-19 test is available on the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health website (content in French).

Cities all across France are also setting up a free pop-up or mobile testing centres, the list of which can be found on the websites of each local government.

Pharmacies across France are now authorized to offer a serology-based rapid test that detects antibodies in the blood. The presence of antibodies may suggest that you have been infected by the virus within the past two to three weeks. The Health Authority of France (content in French) recommends that this rapid test is used only for diagnostic purposes and to be followed up with medical biology examinations carried out in the laboratory.

While we do recommend consulting the geographical map above, here are some COVID testing centers available in the Île-de-France region:

Paris

  • Paris 4th: La Scala laboratory, 2 place Baudoyer 75004
    9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    for people without a prescription and without an appointment 
  • Paris 13th: Eurofins CEF laboratory, Mairie du 13e, 3 rue Philippe de Champagne 75013
    From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Paris 15th: Cerballiance Paris and IDF Est laboratory, Mairie du 15è, 31 rue Péclet 75015
    From 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for priority audiences (prescription or SMS from the CPAM)
    From 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Paris 17th: Biolam LCD laboratory – Parc Martin Luther King, entrance at 52 rue Gilbert Cesbron, 75017
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Paris 18th: Biolam LCD laboratory, place Dorléac, 10-12 rue Maurice Grimaud 75018
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Paris 19th: Guevalt laboratory, Espace Pierre Girard, 5/7 rue Pierre Girard
    From 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Seine-et-Marne

  • Lognes (77): Armainvilliers laboratory, Espace Diderot 97 boulevard du Segrais 77185
    From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Dammarie-Les-Lys (77): 444, avenue du Général Leclerc
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Yvelines

  • Trappes (78): Eurofins CEF laboratory, 2 allée Antoine de Saint Exupéry 78190
    From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority groups
    From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Mantes-la-Jolie (78): Cerballiance IDF Ouest laboratory, Espace Les Eglantines, 1 rue Georges Braque 78200
    From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Poissy (78): 53 avenue Blanche de Castille, 78300
    From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. only for priority audiences

Essonne

  • Evry (91): Cerballiance IDF Ouest laboratory, 2 clos de la Cathédrale 91000
    From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Massy (91): Screening center, 4 Place de l’Union européenne 91300
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority groups
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Hauts-de-Seine

  • La Défense (92): Biolam LCD laboratory, CNIT screening center, 2 Place de la Défense 92092 (opposite the pharmacy)
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority groups
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Issy-les-Moulineaux (92): Biolam LCD laboratory, 239 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau 92130
    From 9 a.m. to
    2 p.m. for priority audiences From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Seine-St-Denis

  • Bondy (93): Guevalt laboratory, Espace Chauzy, esplanade Claude Fuzier 93140
    From 8 a.m.  to 2 p.m.
  • Saint-Denis (93): Biolam LCD laboratory, 6 rue de la legion d’honneur 93200
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Val-de-Marne

  • Fontenay-sous-bois (94): Biomega laboratory, Salle Pacquot, 18bis rue de Neuilly 94120
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Vitry-sur-Seine (94): Cerballiance IDF Sud laboratory, Place du marché, 7 Avenue Henri Barbusse, 94400
    From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

Val-d’Oise

  • Argenteuil (95): Biolam LCD laboratory, 9 boulevard Héloïse 95100
    From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority audiences
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment
  • Cergy (95): Cerballiance IDF Ouest laboratory, 2 rue de la Pergola 95000
    From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for priority groups
    From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people without a prescription and without an appointment

 

How much is the cost for COVID-19 test in France?

All Covid-19 tests in France are free for people living in the country.

This is not always the case for non-residents. Some laboratories charge people who are not in the French healthcare system. Prices range from €30 to €70.