I, a fully vaccinated (3 shots) EU citizen, am traveling to France soon. I'm asking this for the purposes of deciding on specific travel insurance, which covers accommodation and flight expenses if I'd get put under official compulsory quarantine and can't leave with my intended flight.

Is there any chance, that a tourist would be put officially under quarantine, so that they aren't allowed to leave, and they also can then get an official paper stating that they were put under quarantine?

Or is this something that, for practical purposes, can not happen in France currently, even if they get a positive PCR COVID test result, but no hospitalization is needed?

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    If you're told you're under quarantine, and ask for that in writing, and they refuse to give you anything, so you leave quarantine, and they try to prosecute, I can't see that working well for the prosecution. "Was the defendant given any written notice they were under quarantine?" "No". Jan 26, 2022 at 6:14

2 Answers 2


It's extremely rare and, as far as I know, limited to people who are coming back from territories outside the EU where a “variant of concern” is circulating but it does exist. In that case, you do get a paper (an arrêté préfectoral naming you specifically).

If you are vaccinated and test positive while you are in France, isolation is recommended but that's quite different from a compulsory quarantine. Obviously, you shouldn't board a plane or a train (and could in fact be denied boarding if a negative test is mandatory, e.g. going to Italy) but I don't see your insurance covering that event, given the language you quoted.

When you get a test in France, it will be entered in the SI-DEP and you get a link to download a certificate of the test results even if you are not covered by the French health insurance system. I assume this is also the case if the test comes back positive (and I have always been assured I would get a call from the lab/pharmacy in that case). You should also receive “advice on what you have to do”. Realistically, case numbers are so high that in all likelihood nothing else will happen after that.


The current rules are:

(source: gouvernement.fr)

  • if you test positive: 5 to 10 days isolation depending on your vaccination status and result of a follow-up test
  • if you are a contact: up to 7 days isolation if you are not vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, no immediate isolation, but tests are required, and will lead to isolation (see above) if positive.

In the case of a positive test I believe you’ll get a certificate saying so. I suppose it should somehow state that you should isolate but I’m not quite sure what form it takes.

If you are a non-vaccinated contact it’s probably going to be difficult to get any relevant paperwork, especially as someone not registered with the French healthcare system.

Note that some argue that the current rules are just recommandations and not enforced by law, but I haven’t checked if that is true. You should nevertheless respect them.

Are there really insurance policies which cover Covid-related isolation? That would seem like a promise of financial ruin for them given the current rates of infection.

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    I'm fully vaccinated (updated the Q too). The policy has 1000€ max payout, and requires cerrificate of being placed in quarantine. I'm wondering here, if circumstancs where I'd need and get coverage for quarantine can realistically arise (I have another insurance which maybe doesn't cover as much).
    – hyde
    Jan 25, 2022 at 13:22
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    @DavidSupportsMonica I'm not asking what the insurance covers. I'm asking if a tourist in France can get an official paper saying "you are under quarantine / must isolate, and aren't allowed to travel".
    – hyde
    Jan 25, 2022 at 17:18
  • @hyde Fair enough. I'll bow out. Jan 25, 2022 at 17:36
  • This fails to address the question except the hand-wavy comment “Note that some argue that the current rules are just recommandations and not enforced by law, but I haven’t checked if that is true. You should nevertheless respect them.” You may not have checked but that's exactly what the question is about.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 25, 2022 at 18:04
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    Re: Insurance, that's probably why they specify “compulsory quarantine” and ask for documentary evidence because it's actually quite rare. Also the coverage is capped at €1000, you can easily cover that with, say, a €100 premium, even at current incidence rates and a lot of fine print (consider cell phone or expedition insurance as related examples).
    – Relaxed
    Jan 25, 2022 at 18:27

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