Fully vaccinated people from France – as well as other EU countries and the UK – will be free to visit the US from ‘early November,’ the US has announced.
The long hoped-for announcement comes in a reversal of a ban put in place by former US president Donald Trump early in the Covid pandemic last year, which strictly limits travel from the EU or UK.
At present, visits are limited essentially to US citizens and residents or others whose visit is deemed to be in the US’s national interest.
The change is said to follow weeks of intense diplomatic talks between the US, UK and EU.
Visitors will however be required to show a Covid test taken in the 72 hours before travel. They will also be asked to provide contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses, as is also required for visitors to both the UK and France.
It comes as there had been increasing calls in France for more ‘reciprocity’, since France allows vaccinated Americans to visit without restrictions. In early July, French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said he expected the US to take a decision ‘in the coming weeks’, adding he hoped the weeks could be "counted on one hand, not both of them".
Due to concerns over rises in the Delta variant, the US was recently taken off the EU’s ‘safe’ travel list, meaning that ‘essential reasons’ are once again advised for any unvaccinated travellers to the EU. The US as a result moved from France’s green list to its amber list just over a week ago.
Even so, those who are fully vaccinated remain free to come to France from the US without having to give reasons for the trip, provide a test or self isolate.
The US’s pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients has also indicated that the country is to tighten requirements for unvaccinated Americans going back to the US, who will be asked to provide a negative test from 24 hours or less before departure, and to take a further test after they arrive.