Coronavirus: Is it safe to travel to France? Latest travel advice and updates | Travel

PUBLISHED: 11:11 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:27 13 March 2020

The coronavirus outbreak may affect your French travel plans. Pic: GGuy44/iStock/Getty

The coronavirus outbreak may affect your French travel plans. Pic: GGuy44/iStock/Getty

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Find out the latest holiday advice surrounding the coronavirus and whether it will affect your travel to France


The number of coronavirus cases in France has reached 2,876 (as of 13 March), making it the second most affected European country after Italy. With 138,938 cases worldwide, holidaymakers may be worried about their upcoming travels, but the French government has set out guidelines to hopefully limit the spread of the virus.

Where is the virus in France?

Although there have been cases reported in every region, the most affected area is Grand-Est. Many of those who contracted the virus here were at a religious gathering in Mulhouse, attended by 2,000 people. There are also relatively high numbers of cases in Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France. It’s not just on the mainland, either – Ajaccio in Corsica has also had some new cases of COVID-19.

Mulhouse in France. Pic: Prill/iStock/GettyMulhouse in France. Pic: Prill/iStock/Getty

What is the latest travel advice for France?

The UK government has not advised against travel to France, but in light of the virus, France has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people, including some festivals, concerts and sporting events. However, health minister Olivier Véran said that a list of events would be drawn up that would be ‘useful to the interest of the nation’.

Among the major events in France to be cancelled are the Paris marathon, Berck-sur-Mer International Kite Festival, the Salon d’Agriculture in Paris and the Fête du Citron in Menton. Check on the event’s website before you travel to check that it is still taking place.

There are no restrictions on flights to and from France from the UK, although those between France and Italy are suffering disruption. In the USA, President Trump has suspended travel between 26 European countries and the US (although US citizens can travel as normal). Ferry transport and Eurotunnel services are so far unaffected. Public transport within France is so far exempt from the gatherings of 1,000 people rule and is running relatively normally.

From Monday 16 March, all schools, universities and creches will be closed under orders from Macron.

Some events in Paris have been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pic: Paitre/iStock/GettySome events in Paris have been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pic: Paitre/iStock/Getty

Will my holiday to Paris be affected?

In Paris, the Métro is running as normal but some tourist attractions are affected. The Louvre, the most visited museum in the world, is restricting entry to those who have already reserved a ticket online or people who normally get free entry. Sporting events in the city have also been hit, with the Paris Saint-Germain versus Borussia Dortmund Champion’s League match on 11 March ordered to be played behind closed doors. At Disneyland Paris, a staff member tested positive for coronavirus and it has been announced that the theme park will close at end of business on Sunday 15 March until the end of the month.

Where can I find more information?

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has useful information about the virus for visitors to France in English. There is even more information on the French government’s website (in French).

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