Paris is getting tough. Faced with the galloping spread of the Delta variant, American tourists must now arrive on French soil already vaccinated. No particular constraint had been imposed on them since June. However, the number of new cases of Covid-19 has exceeded 140,000 per day in the United States, while vaccination rates are slowing down: 54% of Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, compared to 63% of French people.
On Sunday, September 12, France placed the United States on its “orange” list and joined the ranks of European countries that are imposing new restrictions on American travelers. Unvaccinated tourists can only come for “essential reasons” and must present a negative PCR or antigenic test, commit to a second test or medical examination upon arrival in France, isolate themselves for seven days and perform a third test at the end of this quarantine.
These measures follow the European Union’s decision on August 30 to remove the United States from its “green” list of safe countries due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the south of the country. This was only a recommendation, as each country is free to establish its own travel health policy.
Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain also refuse to accept unvaccinated U.S. tourists. Italy has added entry requirements, even for those who are vaccinated. Sweden, meanwhile, has adopted the strictest measure: its borders are closed to all non-European tourists, regardless of their vaccination status.
These new restrictions could prompt Washington – finally! – to relax its entry requirements for vaccinated Europeans. The Biden administration gave hope at the end of August but has not yet made a decision.