Bonjour! France welcomes back (vaccinated) tourists

France is putting itself back on the menu as a destination for international tourists who have coronavirus jabs

Take a walk in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso in Montmartre; breathing in the smell of Provence; A Humble Walk Along D-Day Beaches: These and all of France’s other attractions will once again be easily accessible to most foreign tourists from next week – if they are vaccinated.

France is putting itself back on the menu as a destination for international tourists who have had coronavirus jabs. The government announced on Friday that it was removing the requirement for coronavirus tests for vaccinated Europeans. It is also allowing vaccinated tourists from much of the world, including the United States, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North and Central America, to return provided they test negative.

The relaxed rules will come into effect from Wednesday, giving a boost to France’s tourism sector. For French tour guide Linda Zenou, the return of foreign visitors may not happen soon: the unemployment payments she has been surviving on last month during the pandemic left her with “no more resources, nothing”. The 61-year-old has had no foreign tourists to guide him since leading a bus of English and Spanish speakers around the Palace of Versailles in February 2020.

“Every day there are announcements that Americans – ‘Whoopi!’ – etcetera coming back,” she said. “It’s going to take time to set up and since I’m desperate, it’s hard to be positive.”

Tourism to France will still not be possible from countries grappling with virus growth and worrying forms. At present, this “red list” includes 16 countries including India, South Africa and Brazil.

Outside Europe, much of the world is classified as “orange” in the new travel rulebook released Friday by the French government.

Vaccinated visitors from “orange” countries – including the United States and Britain – will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival and will no longer need to justify their reasons for traveling to France. However, they will still be asked for a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours or a negative antigenic test not older than 48 hours.

Unvaccinated children will be allowed along with unvaccinated adults, but they must show a negative test by age 11.

European visitors and people from seven countries classified as “green” – Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore – will no longer be required to undergo testing if vaccinated.


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