Immigration update: France | Second step of the phased process for lifting restrictions after Covid-19 lockdown

The first phase of the French exit strategy, that started on 11 May, having proved to be reasonably successful, the country has now entered the second phase of the Covid-19 lockdown exit process, that is meant to last for another 3 weeks.

Changes of the second phase, compared to the first one, mainly regard internal rules to circulate and gather in France. The 100km limitation that had been imposed in May is now lifted, and travel within metropolitan France is not restricted any longer.

Cafes and restaurants are allowed to reopen, but only in outdoor spaces for those located in the “orange areas” (Ile de France, Guyana and Mayotte) where the virus is still circulating quite a lot or where hospitals still haven’t recovered enough from the crisis.

Beaches can reopen in the country, and the few public gardens that were still closed are now open. Social distancing is nonetheless the rule, and wearing a mask is strongly recommended where the 1-meter distance cannot be respected, or in public transports. Further, groups must not exceed 10 people in public places but in also in private places receiving public, such as cafés and restaurants.

In parallel, the StopCovid app is launched today and shall allow tracing of infected people and early detection of the people that were potentially in contact with them.

Voluntary quarantine is now in place for travellers entering France from outside the Schengen Space, and will be imposed in the Overseas or when traveller presents symptoms of infection.

In parallel, travelling to France is still highly restricted. Internal Schengen borders shall reopen on 15 June, and external Schengen borders are closed until further notice. Authorities shall communicate on or before 15 June on expected reopening date, with a view of coordinating reopening with all other Schengen States.  

Crossing an internal Schengen border is possible for an imperious reason, and travel certificate and health certificate must be presented to the authorities when one presents at the border. Consulates still work on a very degraded mode and no reopening date has been communicated yet. Visas are issued in very exceptional circumstances, or for spouses of EU or French citizens. People already in France can get extensions of their visas / residence permits to prevent illegal stays.

Closure of borders is one of the most impeding situations that can be faced in the world of international mobility. The current status prohibits entry into the territory to most of the non-EEA travellers, including but not limited to tourists, and assignees coming to do an orientation tour and search for a home in France.

We will continue to keep you updated on further developments and assist you as soon as possible to get the requested authorizations for future and current assignees to enter and circulate.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us

Alexandra Demeure

Immigration Manager

Western Europe cluster


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Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.


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