What Americans can expect when traveling to France during the pandemic

By Andrew Kunesh

As of today, June 9, 2021, France has reopened to tourists from a handful of nations, including the U.S. Those coming from the U.S. must possess proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to the country without mandatory quarantine.

I’m a huge fan of France and was ecstatic to hear the reopening news. Naturally, I hopped on one of the first flights to Paris (CDG) that arrived just hours after the new regulations went into effect.

Here, I’ll give you a look at my experience entering France under the new coronavirus entry restrictions.

I’ll start with a quick overview of what Americans need to bring for entry to France and then discuss my travel experience, from checking in at New York-JFK to clearing customs at Paris (CDG).

Let’s get started!

Overview of France’s entry requirements (and what to bring)

Vaccinated Americans can now visit France for tourism. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Today, France implemented a “stoplight” system for tourists entering the country. There are three different colors: green, orange and red. Those coming from green countries can enter without restriction if vaccinated, while those in red countries are mostly barred from entry except for essential purposes.

French COVID stoplight system map
(Image courtesy of the French Government)

Orange is the largest category and contains most of the countries outside of the Schengen area. This includes the U.S., U.K., Canada and Mexico, among others.

Entry requirements are very straightforward. According to the French Government (PDF link), vaccinated Americans (and vaccinated travelers from other orange countries) can enter France with the following:

  • Proof of your vaccination — the following vaccines are accepted:
    • AstraZeneca
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Moderna
    • Pfizer
  • negative COVID-19 test:
    • PCR within 72 hours of boarding
    • Antigen within 48 hours of boarding

Note that you must wait a set amount of time after your COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter France. The wait time depends on which vaccine you received:

  • Two weeks after the second injection for two injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca)
  • Four weeks after the injection for single injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson)

Unvaccinated persons coming from orange countries are not allowed entry to France unless he or she has a “compelling reason” for their visit or is a French citizen, EU national or holds one of a handful of French visas.

Additionally, unvaccinated travelers are subject to tougher restrictions:

  • Proof of a negative COVID test, either:
    • PCR within 72 hours of boarding
    • Antigen within 48 hours of boarding
  • Antigen test on arrival
  • Mandatory seven-day self-quarantine

In other words: if you’re coming from an orange country, you can only visit for tourism if you’re fully vaccinated.

Related: What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in the US

COVID-19 restrictions in France

Many COVID-19 restrictions in France have been eased alongside the border reopening. That said, there are still some restrictions in place that you should be aware of if you plan to visit France immediately.

  • There is an 11 p.m. curfew, with a fine for breaking it
  • Indoor dining at cafés and restaurants around the country have resumed indoor dining at 50% capacity, with a maximum of six people allowed per table
  • Outdoor dining has resumed at full capacity
  • Museums are open, albeit with capacity restrictions

Many of these restrictions are set to be lifted at the end of the month. So if you’re a night owl, consider pushing your trip back a few weeks [ . . . ]

Continue at source: What Americans can expect when traveling to France during the pandemic

Arrests in Paris as thousands join May Day protests across France

Hooded, black-clad demonstrators clashed with police in Paris on Saturday as thousands of people joined traditional May Day protests across France to demand social and economic justice and voice their opposition to government plans to change unemployment benefits.

Police made 46 arrests in the capital, where garbage bins were set on fire and the windows of a bank branch were smashed, momentarily delaying the march.

More than 106,000 people marched throughout France, including 17,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry.

Trade unionists were joined by members of the “Yellow Vest” movement, which triggered a wave of anti-government protests three years ago, and by workers from sectors hit hard by pandemic restrictions such as culture. [ . . . ]

Source: Arrests in Paris as thousands join May Day protests across France | Reuters

Commemoration begins of the bloody weeks of the Paris Commune of 1871

Paris has launched two months of events commemorating a radical experiment in people power, which continues to divide and inspire in equal measures 150 years later.

The 1871 Paris Commune, an uprising against a conservative government by working-class Parisians that was brutally crushed after 72 days, is one of the lesser-known chapters in French history.

But its memory still looms large in left-wing rebellions worldwide and in Paris with the towering Sacre-Coeur basilica in Montmartre, built by the victors on the ruins of the crushed Commune.

The revolt erupted after the Franco-Prussian war and ended in a bloodbath, with government troops massacring between 6,000 to 20,000 people during la semaine sanglante (bloody week) that ended the Parisians’ brief flirtation with self-rule.

Last week, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo inaugurated a programme of 50 events commemorating the Commune, including exhibitions, plays, conferences and debates.

But with public sympathies still divided been the “Communards” and the “Versaillais” government, trying to rally Parisians around a shared reading of what Karl Marx described as “France’s civil war” is proving difficult. Continue reading “Commemoration begins of the bloody weeks of the Paris Commune of 1871”

Paris eyes three-week Covid-19 lockdown in bid to then ‘reopen everything’

The city of Paris is considering proposing a three-week lockdown in a bid to “reopen everything” in the City of Lights afterwards, the deputy mayor said Thursday, calling the current nighttime curfew a “half-measure” and a “semi-prison” that never ends.

In an interview with French broadcaster Franceinfo, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire said that the left-wing run city hall was considering proposing an independent local lockdown for the French capital to stem the “worrying” rise of new coronavirus infections there, with “the prospect of reopening everything” after, including its theatres, cinemas and restaurants.

Grégoire described the current anti-Covid-19 measures imposed by Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government, including the country’s 6pm-6am curfew, as “half- measures with bad results”, adding that that “we can’t be forced to live in a semi-prison for months”.

Like the rest of the country, Paris has been under a night curfew since December 15, but bars, restaurants and cultural venues have been closed even longer.

Grégoire’s comments came on the heels of Prime Minister Jean Castex’s announcement Thursday that Paris and 19 other regions in the country were placed under “heightened surveillance” and that they risk coming under weekend lockdown at the start of March unless the number of new coronavirus infections drops. The southern city of Nice and the northern area of Dunkirk have already been ordered into lockdowns on weekends. [ . . . ]

 

Continue at FRANCE24: Paris eyes three-week Covid-19 lockdown in bid to then ‘reopen everything’