France enters the second of its three-tiered easing of COVID restrictions on Wednesday. That means a little more freedom for Americans hoping to have a summer in Paris, a beach vacation on the Mediterranean, or a tour of French countryside wineries.
France has instituted a stoplight system for entry, with countries around the world designated green, orange, or red. Most of the world falls into the orange category, including the United States and Canada.
What that means in a practical sense is that Americans who are fully vaccinated no longer need a compelling reason to travel to France, nor do they have to quarantine for seven days after arrival. They do need to show proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or an antigenic test within 48 hours.
Americans who are not fully vaccinated can still enter France, but they must show a pressing reason for entry, take additional tests after arrival, and quarantine in a designated hotel for seven days.
Most of Europe is designated as green, along with Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Lebanon, and Singapore. Residents of those nations can enter France without a test.
There are 16 nations on the red list, including COVID hot spots India, Brazil, and South Africa. Residents of those nations cannot enter France.
“We have to reconcile freedom of mobility with the need for security,” French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said of the stoplight system.
The Ministry has not said when or how nations can move about the stoplight system, only that nations are placed according to terms contingent upon the health situation of these countries and the traveler’s vaccination status.
The second phase of reopening also brings with it changes throughout the country, including:
- The resumption of indoor dining at 50 percent capacity. That hasn’t been available since October.
- Outdoor dining can resume at 100 percent capacity, although tables can seat no more than six diners.
- The nighttime curfew moves from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., although outdoor dining must end at 10 p.m. The curfew is scheduled to be lifted completely on June 30.
- Masks remain mandatory indoors throughout the country. Some locales have eased restrictions on wearing masks outdoors; they are still required in Paris.
- Museums, theaters, and cinemas can increase capacity to 65 percent, up from 35 percent.
- The Parc Asterix amusement park will open at 65 percent capacity. Disneyland Paris will open on June 17.
- Concert venues and stadiums can open for up to 5,000 spectators, who all must show their vaccination certification or negative COVID test for entry.
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