Is France’s reopening up in the air? What you should know if you’re planning June travel
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new COVID-19 case numbers.
In May, TPG learned that France was planning to reopen to tourists on June 9. But, with just one week until international travelers are rumored to be allowed — and following a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in France — there has still been no official word on what the reopening will look like or whether it will happen at all.
We’re still hopeful that Americans will be able to go to France this month, but we just don’t know for sure yet. Be prepared in case the answer is “no.”
According to the U.S. State Department, as of May 18, “The president of France has laid out a reopening plan that would allow ‘foreign tourists’ with a health pass (tied to being fully vaccinated or having a negative COVID-19 PCR test) to enter France beginning June 9, 2021, if COVID-19 levels remain under control.”
Here’s more information about France’s reopening.
However, the French government remains mum on what, exactly, the health passes will entail and how prospective travelers can apply for them.
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The State Department’s statement indicates that the restart will depend on the current pandemic situation within France when June 9 rolls around.
Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) shows France has had more than 5,575,000 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in nearly 109,000 deaths. But the number of cases and hospitalizations is now on a downward trend according to Reuters.
Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center puts those numbers even higher and says that less than 17% of France’s population has been fully vaccinated.
If France does reopen on schedule, it is expected to relax its current 9 p.m. curfew by two hours to 11 p.m. and do away with it completely by June 30. (Those who break it are subject to a €135 fine.) The country has also said it would allow restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity.
Anyone looking to travel to France should check the State Department website. Like most of the world’s nations, France is under a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory — a joint warning from the State Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing both rising COVID-19 numbers and civil unrest, with demonstrations posing a threat in some tourist areas. Bookmark the website for the French Embassy in the United States to check for additional intel.
France joins most European Union (EU) member countries in opting for a slow, phased-in approach. However, fellow EU nations Italy and Greece are already fully open to Americans again, and seven member countries — including Greece — are already using digital COVID-19 certificates to help with streamlining the traveler verification process. Earlier this week, the president of the International Air Transport Association said similar electronic health passports could eliminate airport waits of up to eight hours.
Featured photo by V_E/Shutterstock.com.
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