In an interview with the American news channel CBS, the president says that he hopes the ban on most travel from the USA – which has been in place since March 2020 – can be lifted this summer.
He said: “We will progressively lift the restrictions [in France] from the beginning of May, which means that we will organise in the summer time with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens”.
The president made it clear that travel will likely be allowed, “especially for US citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say.”
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For the past year travel into France from the US has only been allowed for ‘essential reasons’ which has ruled out visits from American second-home owners and made many family visits impossible.
“The idea is to offer travel to the American citizen when they decide to be vaccinated or with a negative PCR test” Macron clarified, “so the idea is to always control the virus, to maximise the vaccination, and to progressively lift the restrictions.”
France is currently battling a third wave of Covid cases, driven by new variants, and is under a ‘partial lockdown’ with limits on travel, shopping and socialising. However Macron said that he aims to begin reopening some parts of the country from mid May.
The French government is expected to announce a more detailed programme for reopening at the end of April.
Additionally, Macron told the Face the Nation programme that the country’s vaccine rollout is steadily progressing due to production increase.
European ‘health passports’ are also on the horizon, with Thierry Breton, head of the European Commission task force, last month claiming he hopes the continent will have a summer “comparable to last year.”
Discussions on the vaccine passports are ongoing, but it is likely that they will have provision for either a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid test.
For full details on the restrictions currently in place on travel into France from EU and non-EU countries, head to our Travelling to France section.