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Macron Says France working on Admitting Vaxed or Tested Tourists

Link below to interview from this morning's Face The Nation.

He said that France is working on opening up to tourists from US who are vaccinated or test negative in the Summer. Said they're working with White House on this.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/macron-says-france-finalizing-plans-to-ease-restrictions-for-vaccinated-american-travelers/vi-BB1fMwWb?ocid=msedgdhp

Posted by
5696 posts

With nearly 36,000 new cases today, numbers would have to drop significantly before my feet touch French soil. There are still curfews and restrictions in much of France - hardly conducive to a relaxing holiday. A Covid vaccination centre has closed today due to a lack of demand. Things will need to change drastically if tourists are to be safely welcomed back.

Posted by
7257 posts

I will take his word. It would be sad for them to have to cancel all of the summer jazz festivals two years in a row

Posted by
8500 posts

You’re right Jennifer. The center closed early yesterday and personnel went home. Too many people are waiting for Pfizer and Moderna, wary of AZ.

Posted by
7694 posts

I saw Macron's interview and have to say I am shocked.

I never would have dreamed that they are at this point especially given how badly things are going here.

It’s now six months that most restaurants have been closed (five and a half months for all, officially). Our daily new case numbers are still in the tens of thousands (as Jennifer mentioned) , and deaths still around 300.

We have been in either curfew or lockdown since late October (currently we have a curfew that begins at 7 pm nightly).

So I am pretty shocked that the government is apparently well along the path to welcoming tourists back. What they'll do when they get here, I don't know. Museums have been closed since late October; non-essential shops for the past few weeks. I guess they can do like the rest of us and walk around and sit on park benches until time to be home at 7 pm.

Posted by
1947 posts

78% of COVID hospitalizations are related to obesity.

Few talk about the toll on mental and physical health from being locked down.

Posted by
4737 posts

So I am pretty shocked that the government is apparently well along the path to welcoming tourists back. What they'll do when they get here, I don't know. Museums have been closed since late October; non-essential shops for the past few weeks. I guess they can do like the rest of us and walk around and sit on park benches until time to be home at 7 pm.

That is my concern. I don’t really have any interest in traveling somewhere if the experience is going to be greatly diminished by closures and curfews.

Posted by
7257 posts

So I am pretty shocked that the government is apparently well along the path to welcoming tourists back. What they'll do when they get here, I don't know. Museums have been closed since late October; non-essential shops for the past few weeks. I guess they can do like the rest of us and walk around and sit on park benches until time to be home at 7 pm.

Why conclude that the government does not intend to open up museums two months from now or things are going to be the same two months now?

Posted by
8832 posts

The broad strokes plan of letting US tourists in is good news. However the 'bureaucrats' are now tasked with devising the 'document' that US citizens will need to present to show they are vaccinated.

The CDC card is the only nationwide document of which I am aware and from what I have read here, it comes in at least 2 sizes. What nationwide document can be devised to account for the multiple health record systems that exist in the US will be a challenge.

Will be interesting to see what gets devised and whether the rest of the EU will accept it ( whatever 'it' is)

Reading about the restrictions that have been in existence in France, I cannot help but wonder if Macron was simply trying to give people a ray of hope that things will/are improving.

Posted by
7257 posts

Yeah Air France just started selling new service from Denver to Paris starting July 2

Posted by
292 posts

I watched the entire interview on CBS News' website. I think one would have to take his comments related to Covid in totality. In other words, he laid out a conceptual scenario (maybe call it an aspirational scenario) that has France gradually reopening internally in phases starting in early May, combined with a more aggressive vaccination program, and under that scenario (during which I would assume some restaurants and some tourist sites would open), they apparently are considering allowing travelers from certain countries to enter France starting under certain circumstances sometime in the summer. I would imagine late summer, but I don't recall him being that specific.

Probability of that happening? Personally, I'm pessimistic. I would hope at least outdoor dining areas would be able to operate as temperatures warm, but indoor dining would be in the distant future. Museums and other tourist sites? With low numbers (pick up your jeton at the entrance) and enforced distancing, maybe.

I'm not surprised talks have been underway between the countries regarding planning for reopening tourism. What I am pessimistic about is when those plans would begin to be implemented. Maybe summer, as he described in the interview. Maybe not.

The numbers are still too high, by a long shot. Too many well-proportioned French schnozes peeking over the tops of masks. Too many French people walking down the sidewalk wearing not a mask but a chin warmer. Too many bises and not enough distancing in stores, street markets and so on.

Posted by
11432 posts

In the interview, Macron said he is working with the White House on a new European certificate for travel. I can't see us now going back and asking everyone who wants to travel to return to where they got the shot to have the facility fill out new paperwork. It would take thousands of people to work on such a project and the cost would be prohibitive.

(Remember, the CDC nor the federal government keeps a record of your shots. And the White House said there will be no federal database of such information. )

And then what, people waiting on line for hours to have this done? Or do you expect the governors of some states---Florida, Texas and Tennessee come to mind--to cooperate with the White House? They've already said no to a vaccine passport. Getting the vaccine is one thing, but spending money so people can travel overseas? Not a politically wise move. So, let's say they charge a fee. How long do you think it would take to get the information? These are state governments we're talking about. Not the most efficient places.

I can see them doing what Iceland is doing. Travelers go online and register prior to their travels. Yes, it could be counterfeited but so can everything else. There might also be a requirement for a covid test either prior to departure or on arrival.

More than likely, for a vaccine passport, the user will be required to fill out certain information and then sign it stating it is the truth and if found lying could face criminal penalties.

I asked the pharmacy where I got my shots to give me a printout of what they had minus the demographic data. It didn't have all the information that Iceland is requesting. But combine that with my CDC card and I have all my bases covered.

By the way, as of today, the CDC is reporting that half of Americans over 18 have gotten at least one shot.

Posted by
270 posts

I haven’t watched the full interview but just let’s lay this out. Summer is June-Sept, so 5 months from now France will be back to a new normal? Restaurants? shops? attractions? I don’t see them letting us in with nothing being open. Why would you wanna go in that case? Waste of a trip.

Also I don’t see them letting us in if their own citizens aren’t vaccinated. And that’s supposed to be done in 5 months?? Here in my home country of Texas it seems we’ve learned to Just live with the virus and accept it’s not going away. I don’t see France or the EU following our path.

Posted by
6782 posts

I watched it, and hope things work out. But until officials say something definitely, without all the qualifying words, its just talking. Noting that the US has made no such statements about working with anyone on this, Or, AFAIK, no mention of things working in reverse, that is, the US gov't making plans for how to open up our borders, which I assume has to happen.

Posted by
2042 posts

Just playing the devil's advocate.

Why is France admitting tourists dependent on the US doing the same? (And our borders are actually pretty open. Every day I read about people going from Europe to Mexico for a few weeks and then here... it's a myth that our borders are closed... more like "semi-closed to very few people" LOL!)

Posted by
6782 posts

Well I did a little research and here's a current article in Forbes, which actually describes US borders as closed, opening borders, including specific references to Canada and Mexico land borders. But it does say that the US is considering* mid-May lifting of bans for some people, without specifying how this will be managed. Unfortunately DHS and CBP sites are not helpful.

*one of those pesky qualifying words

Posted by
8500 posts

Americans can leave and return, but others can't enter without a lot of red tape.

But another topic: horrible, sloppy info at The Points Guy, giving incorrect statements on Macron's announcement. Proof that you have to go to the source for this info.

Posted by
13708 posts

MexiTokyo

This is a topic on France. I am in Texas too, but bringing up Texas' success without a lock down is as appropriate as talking about the same in Florida. And lets face it Texas is doing no better than California. So lets stay on France.

I tend to be optimistic in life. When something like this comes out of France, its a good thing. Maybe they are flying a balloon to see how the voters react? And then there are so many political forces we cant even imagine. Wait, see and hope for the best. Of course if the news were that the French government is indicating vaguely that the borders wont open till 2023, the same people would be saying "I told you so". Do keep in mind, I suspect the French also listen to Fauci, and know that the vaccine isnt a cure or a prevention. Then there are the variants that the vaccine is no good against; and the US is freaking crawling with variants. And, at best, they will need to wait until the predicted Ramadan spike; look at what happened to Florida after spring break. But if France were to open to other than EU, it would be a milestone. Hard for the EU not to follow.

We have done remarkably well not having a vaccine until January 20th. Lets not let our guard down now.

Posted by
7694 posts

Why conclude that the government does not intend to open up museums two months from now or things are going to be the same two months now?

Because Macron didn’t mention two months from now. He mentioned early May, which is two weeks from now.

It’s rather a big difference.

My pessimism also stems from the fact that case numbers, intensive care cases, and deaths still aren’t going down.

Silly me to look at the facts on the ground and be bewildered by what Macron said, in English, to an American audience.

Posted by
7257 posts

I though he said summer maybe not. The start of summer is two months from now. While watching the interview I was skeptical also.

Posted by
292 posts

But Kim, he was quite clear that the lifting of restrictions would be progressive. He said:

"We will progressively lift the restrictions at the beginning of
May..."

I would take from that that some restrictions (perhaps non-essential stores and, perhaps, outdoor dining at restaurants capable of meeting specific requirements) might happen at first, in early May, but that -- progressively, as he said -- restriction lifting may continue such that certain touristic sites including museums might be open a month or two down the road. His comment neither guarantees nor excludes that possibility; rather, it's entirely consistent with it, even if that detail went unsaid.

And Jazz+Travels, you're correct. He started his comments in response to a question about Americans traveling to France this summer with the following:

"I hope so and I do think so..."

Wishy washy, to be certain, but I would hope even the most inflexible among us would have learned by now in this pandemic that predictions of the future are uncertain and the only honest way to present them is to qualify them. That's how science works when dealing with a new phenomenon scientists are in the process of trying to understand.

I think anyone familiar with conditions on the ground in France would be skeptical. Let's see how things play out.

Posted by
384 posts

My husband just received a text from the US State Department saying not to travel to France due to a very high level of Covid 19. I've copied the text:

"Do not travel to France due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Read the Department of State's COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for France due to COVID-19 indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in France. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into France.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Demonstrations in Paris and other major cities continue in France and are expected to continue in the coming weeks. Property damage, including looting and arson, in populated tourist areas has occurred with reckless disregard for public safety. Police have responded with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. The U.S. Embassy is advising official U.S. government travelers to avoid travel to Paris and other major cities in France on the weekends."

Posted by
2923 posts

Just to be clear and to put it in perspective, the US State Department put just about all European countries and 80% of all countries in the world at "Level 4 Do Not Travel" status yesterday. With respect to Europe, the warnings for France, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands, to name a few, include the language on the possibility of terrorism. What sets France apart is the reference to demonstrations in the street. Interestingly, my expat friends in Paris claim that there are currently no violent demonstrations going on in France so maybe the threat assessment with respect to demonstrations is a carryover from earlier in the year or maybe the State Department figures it would not be France without demonstrations in the streets so we should expect some "in the coming weeks." You can't travel to France now anyway but if you could, I think the last part of the State Department notice is, at best, hyperbolic.

Posted by
2042 posts

The United States is great at pointing at other countries and saying "don't go there" . Honestly we need to worry more about what we are doing. I ignore the state department advice at this point and do my own research. (I always wonder how Atlanta would fare on the State Department "fear factor" listing LOL! Covid, Crime, violence, terrorist activity, demonstrations in the street, we have it all!)

Posted by
2055 posts

"Do not travel to France due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.

This is absolute nonsense. France is in lockdown. Except for necessities, all retail is closed as are all cafés/restaurants, museums, and assembly halls. All travel is limited to within 10 km of one's residence and there is a 19h00 to 06h00 curfew. At the present time there is zero civil unrest. There are no specific terrorism threats. Few people leave their homes other than for work or shopping for groceries.

As far as the statement ¨Do not travel to France¨, from the US French Embassy website:

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No.

Travel to France is not even an option and the embassy makes no mention of civil unrest or terrorism.

What may be of interest is what the French government is warning their citizens about travel to the USA. The obvious warnings about Covid-19, but also about the elevated risk of attacks upon citizens, particularly at rallies and when moving about:

Pour rappel, comme indiqué dans l’alerte générale, publiée le 29 octobre 2020, le risque d’attentat étant élevé, les Français résidents ou de passage à l’étranger sont appelés à faire preuve de vigilance maximale.
Il convient en particulier de se tenir à l’écart de tout rassemblement et d’être prudent à l’occasion des déplacements. Il est également recommandé de se tenir informé de la situation et des risques, en consultant les recommandations des Conseils aux voyageurs.

https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays-destination/etats-unis/

Posted by
292 posts

Actually, not all restaurants are closed. Truck stop restaurants are open to serve those who drive poids lourds. McDonalds probably has made more money than any other restaurant chain in France since March of 2020. The lines around the drive through are long at any McDonalds I drive by during business hours. Some allow indoor pickup. Some do not -- only online orders that are picked up at the drive-through window. It's quite common for families to pick up food at a McDonalds and then have a pique-nique of sorts either in a nearby parking lot or park.

Many other fast food-like places (Quick, kebab shops, Subway, Starbucks, Burger King) are open for takeout during limited hours. Some pizza places are as well. The pizza vending machines are busy. The Vietnamese couple who run the Baguettes d'Or (golden chopsticks) restaurant a block from my house are preparing orders for takeout, as is the Italian restaurant down the street. All take out -- but they're not closed. The fancy restaurant in town, which on my last visit pre-Covid seemed to be making a play for a Michelin star with how over the top the service and food was, has a refrigerated vending machine outside where one can buy various restaurant-level dishes sans contact.

And lots of people leave their homes to walk around for exercise or socializing (with masks for the most part), to go to parks, run, take bike rides or motorcycle rides, to go fishing, and so forth. Certainly, the country is shut down to a large degree, but let's not exaggerate.

Posted by
676 posts

I've still got my ticket. But I am worried that even if they let me in, so many things will be closed to me. I mean, will every restaurant and museum have some sort of check in to see what country you are from, and if you are vaccinated?

Posted by
509 posts

@James E: this is indeed a topic on France but since you have brought up points about the vaccines and Covid 19, "I suspect the French also listen to Fauci, and know that the vaccine isnt a cure or a prevention. Then there are the variants that the vaccine is no good against; and the US is freaking crawling with variants"

Isn't the whole point of the vaccine to prevent Covid 19? Or, worst case (or 5% scenario) , prevent hospitalization and/or death? I don't recall Dr. Fauci saying the vaccine would not prevent Covid 19.
Which of the variants is the vaccine (especially Pfizer/Madera) no good against? That is certainly not the information I have read (I read the New York Times daily and watch for updates on France 24 as well as regular broadcast TV).