The prospect of seeing the restrictions imposed on travelers from Europe to the United States disappear a little further with the Delta variant. On Monday, the US federal health agency warned against travel to France, Israel, Thailand and Iceland. A major brake on the spread of the Covid-19 variant. Since mid-June, restrictions for American tourists had been lifted, giving some hope, in the middle of summer, to tourism professionals on this important tourist windfall.
In 2018, tourists from the Americas were the first non-European clientele in France, on a growth trend of +2% for those coming from the United States compared to 2017, according to a note from the DGE (Direction générale des companies). America represented 10% of foreign tourist arrivals in France.
France is therefore back on the blacklist. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised the health warning to level 4 (“very high”) for these countries, as well as for the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Aruba. Lhe US State Department also raised its warning on France and Iceland on Monday, calling on US nationals to “not travel” to these two countries.
The pandemic is also starting again in the United States
Already, in the United States, the number of new coronavirus contaminations and hospitalizations due to the health crisis have reached a six-month peak, fueled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Nationwide, some 100,000 new infections have averaged over the past three days, up 35% over a week, according to an official data tally by Reuters.
Across the Atlantic, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 40%, while the number of deaths has increased by 18% over the past week.
The situation in France is worrying, the alarming thresholds in the West Indies
Also, the figures from France, the world’s leading tourist destination before the Covid-19 crisis, are worrying. In certain regions such as Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, which welcomes 30 million visitors each year and particularly in summer, theand rate ofimpact rose sharply in one week, reaching 562 per 100,000 against 404 per 100,000 at the end of July. Other departments are in a similar or approaching situation, such as Corsica and Hérault. In the Antilles, the situation is even more alarming with an incidence rate of more than 1,600 new contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants.
Martinique will also be subject from this Tuesday 7:00 p.m. and for three weeks to hardened confinement, supplementing the curfew already in force since the end of July. In addition, tourists are advised to leave the island.
Closure of non-food businesses or businesses not involving urgent purchases, cultural and leisure sites, prohibition of navigation and access to beaches, reinforcement of teleworking and limitation of travel within a radius of one kilometer around the home except for compelling reasons are among the main measures announced Monday evening by the prefect.
With 331 hospitalized patients, including 49 in intensive care, local hospital capacities are saturated despite the deprogramming of non-urgent interventions and the opening of new beds.
New measures in the United States: the vaccination of soldiers
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense said on Monday it had asked US President Joe Biden to approve by mid-September a measure requiring army personnel to be vaccinated.
Announcing at the end of July that vaccination – or health restrictions – would be compulsory for all federal employees, Joe Biden had instructed the Pentagon to look into the schedule and procedures for vaccinating American soldiers.
The Pentagon expects mid-September pending validation by the US drug regulator, the FDA, of the vaccine developed by Pfizer with BioNTech. The vaccine currently has emergency use authorization, but not full authorization.
The only lull on the restrictions front, the land border between the United States and Canada reopened Monday for Americans entirely after almost 17 months of closure.
To be admitted to Canadian soil, asymptomatic American travelers must have received two doses of a vaccine authorized by Canadian authorities at least 14 days before entering the country and have undergone a screening test.
Conversely, Canadians are currently not allowed to cross the border for non-essential travel.