Airlines announce increase in flights between France and USA

Ahead of a hoped-for easing of restrictions on travel between France and the USA, two airlines have announced an increase in their transatlantic flight schedules.

Airlines announce increase in flights between France and USA
Airlines have grounded the majority of their fleet since March. Photo: AFP

American Airlines and Air France have both announced that they will be stepping up flights between France and the US, the day after the European Commission said it will shortly publish a plan on lifting restrictions on travel into Europe from July.

The final say will lie with individual countries, but the EU envisions reopening from July on a country-by-country basis, so it seems likely that countries with low levels of coronavirus will reopen first.

At present only essential travel is allowed into France from outside Europe, and as passenger numbers collapsed airlines grounded their fleets and virtually ceased transatlantic crossings.

Now however, American Airlines has announced the immediate resumption of flights between Paris and Dallas Fort Worth airport.

In a message to customers, American Airlines spokesman Tom Lattig said: ” The resumption of service between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dallas Fort Worth, our largest hub, is an important step in rebuilding our international connections.

“We are working closely with airports and local authorities to continue to provide a safe service to our passengers.”

Air France has also announced the resumption of one of its suspended transatlantic routes – Paris to San Francisco. This service will resume from July 6th, the airline tweeted.


READ ALSO Will Americans be able to travel to France in July?

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Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).