Just when it was looking like international travel was impossible this year, the last few weeks have changed everything. Hunt for your old phrasebook and get shopping for a beret, because the world’s number one tourist destination is looking like it will be back on the menu this summer. France – a country synonymous with romance, fashion and food – looks set to allow American tourists to travel there this summer – providing that they have been vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new announcement.
France Set To Re-Open For Americans – What Travelers Should Know
Welcoming almost 90 million tourists in 2019 – the last year unaffected by the pandemic – France took the top spot when it comes to the most visited countries in the world, welcoming 6 million more tourists than second-placed Spain and 10 million more than the US, who take the bronze medal in third.
As a result of border closures and restrictions enforced by the pandemic, recent statistics about travel to France show huge reductions in the number of people traveling – though that could all soon be set to change. Speaking yesterday morning, France’s President Emmanuel Macron revealed plans to allow Americans the opportunity to visit as early as next month.
“We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May, which means that we will organize in the summertime with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens,” Macron said, giving hope to the millions of travelers who are bound to have destinations such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre on their travel bucket lists.
Elaborating further, Macron went on to add that they were “working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated,” mentioning that the creation of a special pass could be an option. “The idea indeed is altogether to offer that to the American citizen when they decided to vaccinate or with a PCR test being negative. So the idea is indeed to always control the virus, to maximize the vaccination and to progressively lift the restrictions.”
Whilst no exact timelines have been provided, it is believed that the governments are currently finalizing discussions on how they can reopen travel. The news comes as the concept of an EU vaccine passport took a step closer towards becoming a reality last week, as ambassadors met and agreed to a draft legal framework that will see the matter debated before the European Parliament. The vaccine passport, referred to as Digital Green Certificates, would see more streamlined, easier travel between countries in the EU.
Macron’s comments come as France is currently in its third national lockdown. France’s 7-day rolling average of Covid-19 cases currently stands at 32,978 – whilst this is still a high figure, it is significantly lower than their daily case record of nearly 90,000, which was reached in November of last year. Almost 13 million have received one dose of the vaccine, whilst 4.5 million have been given both doses.
In order to limit Covid-19 from spreading further, France recently imposed entry restrictions on travelers from Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil. People coming from these countries must be French nationals and their families, EU citizens or others with a permanent home in France, and they must serve a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories