Americans will soon be permitted to enter France for the first time in more than a year with vaccine passports, French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday, as France prepares to scale down its coronavirus lockdown next month and welcome international visitors.
- France will begin “progressively” lifting nationwide restrictions in early May, and will gradually allow travelers from other European Union member countries as well as the U.S., Macron said Sunday during an appearance on CBS News’ Face The Nation.
- “We will organize in the summer time with our professionals in France [to facilitate travel] for French [and] European [Union] citizens, but as well for American citizens,” Macron said.
- European officials are working on a “special pass” to store visitors’ coronavirus vaccination status or negative PCR coronavirus test results and allow them to travel throughout France and the rest of the European Union, Macron said.
- Macron told Face The Nation that discussions between his administration and the White House are already underway to hammer out technicalities about travel between the two countries.
- Macron said his goal is to make the upcoming tourist season “the best possible summer with the opportunity for your citizens to come to our country, because this is something we are very proud [of].”
France is the latest country to announce it will allow Americans within its borders for the first time since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic sent much of the world into lockdown. Greece will also reportedly allow vaccinated American tourists to fly into select Greek airports as soon as next week. A recent poll from MMGY Global found that while Americans indicate they are increasingly looking forward to domestic travel, less than one in five said they would take international trips any time soon. Travelers from the U.S. are still largely banned in most European countries and across much of the world, though an increasing number are beginning to reopen to Americans.
Macron’s plan for free travel by this summer is an optimistic one. Last week, France surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. With more than 5.3 million confirmed cases since the onset of the pandemic, it is home to Europe’s worst outbreak in terms of total infections. France is in the middle of its third nationwide lockdown, put into place late last month after new cases spikes.