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

Culture under lockdown in Paris: When the opera comes to you

In this edition we discover a very special type of concert. With venues closed due to Covid-19, classical musicians are bringing their art to the courtyards of Parisians, as our team reports. We also look at several symbols of France, including the famous “baguette”. We see what makes it so special and why the French are campaigning for it to be included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. Meanwhile, the Château de Versailles, another symbol of French culture and history, is welcoming back the luxurious desk of Louis XVI after two years of restoration. 

FRANCE 24

Paris medics fear worst of COVID wave still to come

In the COVID-19 intensive care unit of the Antony Private Hospital south of Paris, no bed stays free for long and medics wonder when their workload will finally peak.

As one recovered elderly patient is being wheeled out of the ward, smiling weakly, boss Jean-Pierre Deyme is on the phone arranging the next arrival and calling out instructions to staff.

Louisa Pinto, a nurse of nearly 20 years’ experience, gestures to the vacated room where a cleaner is already at work, scrubbing down the mattress for the next arrival.

“The bed won’t even have time to cool down,” she says as the patient monitoring system beeps constantly in the background.

For now, everything is stable in the 20-odd beds around her where COVID-19 victims lie inanimate, in a silent battle with the virus.

Paris is going through a third wave of the pandemic which risks putting even more strain on saturated hospitals than the first wave in March and April last year.

“With what’s coming in April, it’s going to be very complicated,” says Pinto, a mother of three who hasn’t had a holiday since last summer and like other staff will be cancelling a planned break this month [ . . . ]

Continue at Medical Xpress: Paris medics fear worst of COVID wave still to come

France’s lockdown vice? Cheese

French households feasted on cheese last year as they turned to home cooking and sought gastronomic comfort during coronavirus lockdowns that shuttered the restaurant trade.

The amount of cheese purchased by French shoppers for at-home consumption increased by more than 8% in 2020, compared with just 2% the previous year, according to figures from farming agency FranceAgriMer and market data firm Kantar.

That was part of a shift in food consumption in many countries last year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, with households initially bulk buying staples like pasta and flour, and later settling into home-eating habits with extra purchases of products like butter.

In France, mozzarella saw the steepest rise in demand among major cheese categories, with a 21% volume jump, followed by a 12% increase for raclette – a winter favourite eaten melted with potatoes and cured meats. Continue reading “France’s lockdown vice? Cheese”