France opens borders to vaccinated Americans in time for summer travel

June 4, 2021, 12:57 PM UTC

The U.S. has been put on France’s “orange list.” Starting June 9, vaccinated Americans will finally be able to travel to Paris with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

France is currently allowing any vaccinated individual from within the EU to enter the country without a negative PCR or antigen test. The vaccines accepted by France are those recognized by the European Medicines Agency, which include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

France is pushing full steam ahead, reconciling “the principle of mobility with the principle of health security,” Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, junior minister for tourism, told BFM TV when announcing the rules.

This is welcome news for the country, which generates a huge amount of revenue from American tourists. In 2019 alone, 2.2 million people from the United States visited the French capital.

France has been sorely hit by the pandemic—and is still recovering. The country’s GDP edged up only 0.4% in the first quarter of 2021, and in the second quarter, GDP could be 4% lower than its pre-pandemic level, according to a report last week by France’s statistics agency INSEE.

Recovery is still in the hands of the French government, which has spent billions underwriting lost wages and propping up shuttered businesses, including restaurants. Now that lockdown measures are slowly lifting and travel restrictions eased, officials are hoping more footfall will inject badly needed cash into the economy.

France’s seven-month curfew still remains in effect, which is reported to have spoiled Rafael Nadal’s 35th birthday at the French Open. The closing time in France is now 9 p.m., which may deter tourists.

But at least the country is opening up. The news contradicts the tone of the EU, which updated its list of countries whose residents are eligible to visit—America was not added.  

The U.K., also on France’s orange list, may be looking to its neighbor in envy as Britain just removed Portugal from its green list, spiking airfares as vacationers in Portugal (once the sole EU country on the U.K.’s green list) rush back to the U.K. before a mandatory quarantine rule kicks in on Tuesday.

Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.