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France To Start Welcoming Vaccinated Foreign Tourists


A stroll in Pablo Picasso's footsteps in Montmartre; breathing in the scents of Provence; a humbling walk along D-Day beaches: These and all of France's other attractions will once again become easily accessible to most foreign tourists from Wednesday — if they are vaccinated. France is putting itself back on the menu as a destination for international tourists as of Wednesday for those who have had coronavirus jabs. The government announced last Friday that it is removing the need for coronavirus tests for vaccinated Europeans. It also is allowing vaccinated tourists from most of the rest of the world, including the United States, much of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North and central America to also come back, provided they have a negative test. The relaxed rules will offer a well-needed boost for France's tourism sector. "An extraordinary ray of sunshine", is how French hotelier Serge Cachan describes the reopening. All of his 17 hotels on Paris Right Bank have by now reopened. Reservations are running on average at thirty percent occupied compared to 2019. But the country is just reopening and Cachan believes it will only get better. Tourism to France will still not be possible from countries wrestling with virus surges and worrisome variants. This "red list" for the moment has 16 countries, including India, South Africa and Brazil. Outside of Europe, most of the rest of the world is classed as "orange" in the new travel rulebook released Friday by the French government. Vaccinated visitors from "orange" countries — including the United States and Britain — will no longer need to quarantine on arrival and will no longer have to justify the reasons for their trip to France. They will, however, still be asked for a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or a negative antigenic test of no more than 48 hours. Unvaccinated children will be allowed in with vaccinated adults, but will have to show a negative test from age 11. European visitors and those from seven countries classed as "green" — Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore — will no longer need to undergo testing if they're vaccinated.

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