Last updated: 19 Sep 2021

France

About

France is a country of contrasts with a multitude of landscapes, offering holidays to suit all tastes and budgets. It's the world's premium tourist destination.

France's romantic capital is full of famous sights, including the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral on Ile de la Cité, the Arc de Triomphe leading to Champs Elysées, the Sacré Coeur in the heart of Montmartre and the Louvre's Pyramid. Dining out in Paris is a treat not to be missed.

Paris has 80 museums and 200 art galleries. Visit the Musée d'Orsay located in a beautifully restored railway station, the Palais du Louvre, the Georges Pompidou Centre of Modern Art or the new Quai Branly Museum.

The Disneyland Resort Paris theme park is in Marne la Vallée.
Capital:  Paris (PAR)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  French. Local dialects are also spoken. English is widely understood and spoken. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 33
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Apr 5; May 1, 8, 13, 24; Jul 14; Aug 15; Nov 1, 11; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right. 
Best Time to Go: Spring (Apr-June) or Autumn (Sept-Nov). Summer is very busy. 
Best for: Wine Route, Architecture through the ages, Skiing, Eiffel Tower, Disneyland
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated. Bottled water is available. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Doctors will require cash payment regardless of whether you have health insurance. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. If you are bringing a prescription with you, ensure that your doctor uses generic names of medication. 
Customs: French are very proud of their heritage, and appreciate attempts to speak a few words of their language. Foreigners often perceive the French as rude, but this is often just a lack of understanding of French culture. Meals are leisurely, so do not expect fast service at restaurants. Punctuality is not observed. People are generally addressed as Monsieur or Madame without a last name or first name. Topless sunbathing is allowed at most beaches, but nude sunbathing is restricted to a few beaches. 
Local Offences / Laws: Unattended luggage will be removed and destroyed by security staff. Smoking in public places is banned and carries heavy fines. 
Duty Free: France is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into France by persons over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €150 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Items which are either prohibited or require a licence include weapons and ammunition, drugs (other than those prescribed for personal use), live animals, plant products, cultural artefacts and endangered species.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 14/09/2021

France is open for travel from the European Economic Area. Passengers from other countries, holding a sworn statement confirming they do not have Covid-19, may also be allowed entry for essential travel.

Green Countries/Regions

  • The European Union, Andorra, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Comoros, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Korea (South), Kosovo, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, Vanuatu, the Vatican.

Red Countries/Regions

  • Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Costa Rica, Cuba, Indonesia, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tunisia.

Orange Countries/Regions

  • All countries that are not mentioned above.

Mask requirement

  • All passengers are required to wear a surgical mask (or a filtering face piece mask FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3, provided it does not include a valve) in the airport and throughout their flight. Passengers may be denied boarding if not wearing a surgical mask. 

Entry requirements

  • Passengers with a temperature higher than 38 °C may be refused boarding.
  • Passengers travelling from red countries/regions are not permitted to enter France:
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Nationals of France and their spouses and children;
    • Residents of France;
    • Nationals of the European Union who have their main residence in France;
    • Diplomats
    • Passengers in transit,  provided that they do not leave the airport in France and meet the entry restrictions in their destination country;
    • Crew members;
    • Passengers travelling for a compelling reason listed here.
    • Passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose  of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19.

Test requirements

  • Passengers aged 12 years and older travelling from a green country/region must hold one of the following:
    • a negative result of a biological examination of virological screening (RT-PCR, PCR, qRT-PCR, qPCR, RT-LAMP, LAMP, TMA, antigen or detection of RNA only) or a biological test enabling the detection of the N protein of SARS-COV-2 where the test is carried out less than 72 hours before the flight. Please note that negative test results issued by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom or by HSE (Irish Health Service) in Ireland are not accepted;
      • Passengers travelling from Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal or Spain must hold a negative result of a RT-PCR or TAG test taken within 24 hours prior to arrival in France.
    • a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19; or
    • a certificate of recovery with a positive test result obtained between 11 days and 6 months before travel proving that they have recovered from Covid-19.
  • This does not apply to:  
    • Passengers holding a consular pass issued by a French embassy or consulate. These passengers will be subject to a test on arrival and must quarantine for 7 days in designated establishments;
    • Transit passengers;
    • Crew members or personnel necessary for operation of passenger or cargo flights (including when travelling as passengers to or from their departure base);
    • Members of diplomatic/official delegation, and staff of international organisations with offices located in France (including their spouses and children);
    • Cross-border workers;
    • Passengers who live within 30 km of the border areas, provided they are travelling for a duration of less than 24 hours;
    • Hauliers carrying out their work, provided holding proof of the reason for their trips;
    • Passengers travelling on work-related trips,  provided that the urgent or frequent nature of the work-related trips have made them incompatible with these tests.
  • Passengers aged 12 years and older travelling from a red country/region must hold either a negative result of a biological examination of virological screening, or a negative result of a biological test enabling the detection of the N protein of SARS-COV-2, where the test is carried out less than 48 hours prior to boarding. The accepted types of tests for a biological examination of virological screening are: RT-PCR, PCR, qRT-PCR, qPCR, RT-LAMP, LAMP, Detection of RNA, TMA, Antigenic with detection of the N protein. Rapid serological test, Serological test, Serology, Antibody detection, Antibody and IgG/IgM are not accepted. Negative test results issued by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom or by HSE (Irish Health Service) in Ireland are not accepted.
  • The requirement to hold a negative test result does not apply to:
    • Passengers holding a consular pass issued by a French embassy or consulate. These passengers will be subject to a test on arrival and must quarantine for 10 days in designated facilities;
    • Crew members or personnel necessary for operation of passenger or cargo flights (including when travelling as passengers to or from their departure base);
    • Members of diplomatic or official delegation, and staff of international organisations with offices located in France, including their spouses and children.
  • Passengers travelling from an orange country/region must hold either a negative result of a biological examination of virological screening (RT-PCR, PCR, qRT-PCR, qPCR, RT-LAMP, LAMP, TMA or detection of RNA only) where the test is carried out less than 72 hours prior to boarding, or a negative result of a biological test (antigenic test) enabling the detection of the N protein of SARS-COV-2 where the test is carried out less than 48 hours prior to boarding. Please note that negative test results issued by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom or by HSE (Irish Health Service) in Ireland are not accepted.
    • Passengers travelling from the United Kingdom must hold a negative result of a RT-PCR or TAG test issued within 24 hours prior to arrival in France.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Passengers aged under 11 years old;
    • Transit passengers with a connecting flight to a country outside of the Schengen Area, provided they are also departing from another country (except Mali) that is outside of the Schengen Area. Transit passengers departing from a country outside of the Schengen Area must still hold a test result if they are travelling to another Schengen Area member state, and transiting in France for longer than 24 hours;
    • Passengers who continue their journey to a Schengen Area member state, provided that they pass through the Unique Filter Inspection (IFU) (the transit area in the passenger zone between T2E and T2F) and the duration of the transit is less than 24 hours. If the transit to a Schengen Area country requires entry to France, the French entry restrictions apply;
    • Crew members or personnel necessary for operation of passenger or cargo flights (including when travelling as passengers to or from their departure base);
    • Members of diplomatic or official delegation, and staff of international organisations with offices located in France, including their spouses and children;
    • Passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19, provided they are not travelling from Mali or Republic of Congo;
    • Passengers arriving from Wallis and Futuna Islands or New Caledonia.
  • Passengers departing from Japan or Korea (South) must have the result written in English, or a mix of Japanese/Korean and English where the type of test and the result are written in English.
  • Passengers travelling from Sint Maarten may only use antigenic or PCR tests.  

Form requirements

  • Passengers travelling from Martinique to France are not permitted to travel if they do not present a travel statement ("Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire") confirming that they are travelling for personal, family, health, emergency or professional reason that cannot be postponed, and a sworn statement that they do not have Covid-19. The documents can be found here.
  • Unvaccinated passengers travelling from Guadeloupe to France are not permitted to travel if they do not present a travel statement ("Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire") confirming that they are travelling for personal, family, health, emergency or professional reason that cannot be postponed and a sworn statement that they do not have Covid-19. The documents can be found here.
  • Passengers travelling from Reunion are not permitted to travel if they do not hold a "Travel Certificate for access to French territory" (Attestation relative au déplacements aériens (motifs impérieux)) and supporting document proving that they are travelling for family, health or professional reasons that cannot be postponed. The travel certificate can be obtained here.
  • Passengers are not permitted to travel unless they hold a sworn statement that they do not have Covid-19. This travel certificate and the statement can be obtained here prior to travel.
  • Passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to France must hold a compelling reason for travel.
    • This does not apply to nationals or residents of France.
  • Passengers are not permitted to travel if they do not hold a Travel Certificate for access to French territory (Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire et justificatif de déplacement professionnel) attesting that they have a compelling reason to be admitted into metropolitan France. The travel certificate and supporting documents must be shown before boarding and upon arrival. The travel certificate can be obtained here prior to travel.
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Passengers arriving from a green country/region.
    • Passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Passengers aged 12 years and older who are travelling from an orange country/region must quarantine for 7 days on arrival. Passengers will also be subject to testing upon arrival.
    • This does not apply to passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19.
  • Passengers travelling from a red country/region will be subject to testing on arrival, and must quarantine for 10 days. Passengers must be able to show proof of address of the place for their quarantine. In order to facilitate the tests on arrival, passengers arriving from Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia are advised to fill out the online form.
    • This does not apply to passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Moderna, R-Covi (R-Pharm) or "Covid-19 Vaccine" (Fiocruz) vaccine or 7 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19.
  • Passengers arriving in Paris will be subject to an antigen test on arrival

Exit requirements

  • Passengers are not permitted to depart France unless they satisfy one of the compelling reasons detailed in the Attestation de sortie du territoire métropolitain (Travel Certificate). The travel certificate and supporting documents must be shown before boarding. The travel certificate can be obtained here.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Passengers travelling to a green country/region;
    • Passengers who were in transit through France from another country;
    • Passengers who present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate demonstrating that at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose of Janssen vaccine or 7 days have elapsed since the second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca, Covishield or Moderna vaccine or 14 days since the first dose of these vaccines if the passenger holds proof that they previously have been infected with Covid-19, and minors accompanying one or more vaccinated adult passengers

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) French Consulate-General: (only on appointment).
191 Jan Smuts Ave, 3rd Floor, Standard Bank Bldg Corner Jan Smuts & 7th Ave, Rosebank,
Johannesburg 2001.
PO Box 1027, Parklands 2121
Tel: 011 778 5600
Fax: 011 778 5602
E-mail: visas.johannesburg-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Web: www.consulfrance-jhb.org

b) French Consulate:
2 Dean Street (78 Queen Victoria Street)
Gardens, Cape Town
PO Box 1702, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 4231575
E-mail: consulat.le-cap@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Web: www.consulfrance-lecap.org

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by SA passport holders.

British passport holders with right of abode do not need visas for France. However, British overseas citizens do.

Any visa issued by France will also be valid in the following Schengen countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

1) Logon to https://france-visas.gouv.fr/ - a break down of costs and requirements are available here. Once you have confirmed that you need a visa, you can complete your application on our online portal. You will be asked to create a France-Visas account, which you will need for each step of the process.

2) Once you have completed your online application, all you have to do is submit it to one of the three visa centres in South Africa. France-Visas will provide you with all necessary information on how and where to submit your application. See General Schengen Requirements for terms and conditions of a Schengen short stay visa and application preocedures for multi-destinations.

3) Once you have submitted your application form, you will be directed to book an appointment

4) The application files will be given at the CAPAGO South Africa's counters (CAPAGO`s service fee is approx R400.00 depending on the exchange rate)

JOHANNESBURG: Inanda Greens Business Park, Wierda Gables Building, Block B (ground floor) 98 Albertyn Avenue, CNR Katherine Street,  Sandton. Tel: 087 231 0313  Fax: 011 783 2477
CAPE TOWN: Ground Floor, Old Warehouse Building, Black River Park South, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925 Tel: 087 2310313
DURBAN: Unit G002 Pencarrow Office Park, 8 Pencarrow Crescent, Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia, 4051 Tel: 087 2310313
PORT ELIZABETH: Office 108, 1st Floor, Harbour View Building, Oakworth Road, Humewood, Port Elizabeth

To get more information, you can visit the website https://fr-za.capago.eu/ or email : infofrance-za@capago.eu

Office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1700 by appointment only. The Port Elizabeth branch is open on the last Wednesday of each month from 08:00-15:00
Entrance into the premises is only permitted 15 minutes prior to appointment.

Passport collection: Mon-Fri 12:00-16:30
Call Centre Tel: 087 231 0313  
E-mail: infofrance-za@capago.eu

 

Visa Cost

EUR80 (adults) / EUR 40 (minors)

SA Representative

SA Embassy
59 Quai d’ Orsay 75343, Paris, Cedex, 07
E-mail: info@afriquesud.net
Web: www.afriquesud.net

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio