France’s Big Five Numbers Needed To Restart Tourism

Whilst many people are desperately hoping to head to France this summer, it is unlikely to be as early as May, as has been widely reported. However, in his interview with CBS News Sunday, Macron said that France would “progressively lift restrictions at the beginning of May” so that the country would be organised for visits in the “summertime” for French, EU and American citizens.

The idea is that Americans will be able to visit, either with a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid-19 test result - France launched its digital certificate, which will begin trials until 29 April in Corsica.

Whilst the country is getting closer, it still has some way to go before it can reopen to international travel–its schools have been closed, its shops are shut, its bars banned from serving since October and residents are under curfew with high daily infection rates.

Here’s what needs to happen and the figures that need to change before U.S. travelers will be able to buy croissants in Montmartre or sip local rosé wine along the Côte d’Azur:

33,000–this is the figure of the current seven day rolling average of daily infections for Covid-19. Whilst it is decreasing (from a high of over 56,225 on 3 November), it is still too high to reopen the country, which the government hopes to do in May. Health minister Olivier Véran told La Provence on 20 April, “we are starting to see a decrease in the pandemic but... the epidemic is still at a very high level.” Many experts are currently saying that a mid-May opening is too soon due to the statistics.

5,000–this is the number of daily infections that President Macron laid down as a marker to meet before restaurants, cafés and bars can be fully reopened. This figure has not been met since all eateries and bars were closed in October 2020 and they have not been able to reopen since.

7pm–this is the time when all French people must be at home under the current nationwide curfew. Clearly, visitors cannot come to France until the country is out of lockdown and residents can travel more than 10km (6 miles) from their own home, which they are currently not allowed to do.

19%–Whilst half of U.S. adults have had one shot of vaccine and all over 18s can now sign up for one, the situation is wildly different in France. In the EU, just 20% of adults have had one dose of vaccine–in France, that figure is almost 19% of adults. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that the EU has had difficulty getting its hands on enough doses, although it now believes that it will have enough for 70% of adults by mid-July, as reported by The Local.

17 June 2021–this is the date by which every EU country needs to have a digital travel certificate up and running.

If all these figures are met and improved upon, France can indeed open to international travelers as Macron has promised.




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