The White House made the announcement on Monday. The restrictions had been in effect since March 2020. Here are the new access formalities for French tourists.
After the British government which announced Friday, September 17 a relaxation of the conditions of entry into England for vaccinated travelers, the United States will in turn authorize entry into their territory to travelers vaccinated against Covid-19, announced the White House on Monday. From November 1, travelers will therefore be able to travel to the United States but must, in addition to presenting proof of vaccination against Covid, be tested in the three days preceding their trip and wear a mask.
A contact tracing system will be put in place, White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients also said. According to him, the United States took the time to put in place a global system based on “the individuals” and not on differences in treatment according to the country of origin. The White House did not immediately specify which vaccines would make it possible to enter American soil.
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“Good news for businesses”
According to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for coordinating the supply of the European Union with anti-Covid vaccines, “this concerns all people vaccinated with vaccines that are recognized by the FDA”, the American drug agency, being those of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson (Janssen). Serum from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca and Russian and Chinese vaccines would thus be excluded. Thierry Breton however indicated that the American authorities were going to examine the possibility of lifting the restrictions for Europeans vaccinated by AstraZeneca. Jeff Zients “told me that for the other vaccines, for AstraZeneca in particular, it was their health agency that was going to decide but he seemed to be positive and optimistic”, he told AFP.
Washington is therefore lifting restrictions which since March 2020 have concerned travelers from the European Union, the United Kingdom, or China in particular, then later applying to India or Brazil. The European Commission welcomed this announcement stressing that it was a decision “long awaited“.
“We welcome the US announcement that fully immunized European travelers will soon be able to travel to the United States again. This is a measure long overdue by estranged families and friends, and good news for businesses.“, said the Commission on Twitter. The Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM judged this news “tremendous” while transatlantic flights represent a substantial part of its revenue. The sector federations Airlines for Europe and Airlines for America have also “applauded” the announcement. For the American Chamber of Commerce, this measure “will help foster a robust and sustainable recovery in the U.S. economy.”
What are the formalities for French tourists?
Anyone wishing to fly to the United States will need to prove that they have been fully vaccinated. French nationals aged 2 or over traveling to the United States must present the results of a negative screening test for Covid-19 made in the three calendar days before the flight. These measures apply even in the event of simple transit on American territory.
In addition, a certificate is to be completed and presented at boarding: Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America
Passengers who have already tested positive for Covid-19 and able to present a positive test result accompanied by a letter drawn up by a health professional attesting to their ability to travel may be exempted from this test obligation.
As indicated above, the White House has not yet specified which vaccines would make it possible to enter American soil. It is far from being a detail, many Britons and Europeans have received the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not recognized in the United States where only those of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ).
Finally, travelers will have to provide their telephone number and e-mail address to ensure contact tracing.
The Optimistic Tour Operators
US borders have been closed to millions of international travelers, whether tested or vaccinated, since March 2020, a situation that has caused growing impatience among Europeans in particular, causing painful personal and family situations. This summer, French tour operators said they were optimistic about the resumption of tourism to New York or national parks. They even wanted to believe in a reopening of the borders to Europeans in July. Missed. It must be said that the economic stakes are colossal, according to Marco Vasco (Figaro group), one of the specialists of the destination. “There are plenty of factual reasons to cling to, advanced its CEO, Alexandre Vercoutre during an interview at the beginning of the summer. Prior to the pandemic, the international tourism sector employed roughly 1.2 million people in the United States. Two-thirds of jobs, or around 800,000 positions, were destroyed during the health crisis.
The announcement comes at the right time in a context of great tension between France and the United States in a case of sale of submarines, but Jeff Zients, without commenting on a possible diplomatic aim, insisted on the fact that the decision itself was “dictated by science“.