As cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in the United States, France is the latest country to ban unvaccinated Americans. Following recommendations from the European Union earlier in the month after a spike in Delta variant cases in the USA, France will no longer admit unvaccinated American tourists.
The new rules for Americans wishing to visit France follow a non-binding recommendation from the European Union to restrict entry to visitors from the United States. The EU made the suggestion following a surge of the Delta variant across the United States during July and August.
Only fully vaccinated American tourists will be allowed
Starting from Tomorrow, Sunday, September 12th, only fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed to vacation in France. A tweet from the French Embassy in Washington announced that non-vaccinated Americans would only be allowed to enter France for essential reasons and that they would need a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
Starting Sunday from🇺🇸➡️🇫🇷 no change for vaccinated travelers, but for non-vaccinated travelers:
✔️Proof of compelling reason to enter FR
✔️Neg. PCR test taken <72hrs or neg. antigen test taken <48hrs
✔️7 day self-isolation on arrival
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) September 10, 2021
If an unvaccinated American wants to visit France, they must have a valid essential reason for the trip and be prepared to self-isolate for seven days after their arrival. Tourism or trips to visit family or friends is not regarded as being essential travel.
Unvaccinated people who qualify to come to France for essential reasons must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken less than 72 hours before arriving at the French border. They must then quarantine for seven days either in a hotel or at a private residence. For a list of essential travel and more information regarding travel to France, visit the French Embassy’s United States website.
Before the French government decree, all American’s had to do to enter France was show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. On Thursday, France took the United States and Israel off its green list of safe countries, effectively prohibiting non-essential travel to France for unvaccinated visitors.
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The American CDC vaccine card is proof
Americans must have received a vaccine that the European Union Medicines Agency approves. The approved COVID-19 vaccines are:
- Johnson & Johnson (known as Janssen in France)
- Covishield (accepted by France)
Vaccinated travelers coming to France must wait two weeks after receiving their second dose or four weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. French border police will accept the American CDC vaccine card as proof of being vaccinated.
Even before the new travel restrictions, French citizens and anyone visiting France needed to have evidence of being vaccinated or a negative COVID-19 test. You needed to show proof to ride on trains, eat in a restaurant, or visit a popular tourist attraction like the Eiffel Tower or Louvre Museum.
European travel is becoming more difficult for American tourists
The French move follows in the footsteps of several other European nations, who revised their entry rules for American travelers. Once eager to welcome American’s with open arms following a devastating summer last year, Spain changed its policy last week. Now rather than just proving proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test American’s must show evidence of being fully vaccinated to enter Spain.
Denmark and the Netherlands also revised their COVID-19 entry policies and now require that Americans show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Sweden took things a step further and has banned American tourists regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.
Traveling these days is certainly more difficult and especially for anyone who is not vaccinated for COVID-19.
If you have traveled to Europe from the United States this summer please tell us in the comments how difficult or easy it was at the border.