In an interview that aired on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” this morning, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France is finalizing plans to start its lifting restrictions on non-E.U. travelers, including those from the U.S., within the next few weeks.
France’s president revealed that French ministers are “finalizing the technical discussions” over how best to begin easing restrictions, with officials working to develop a system that would enable vaccinated French, European and also American citizens to travel more freely this summer.
“We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May,” Macron stated. “We are working hard to propose a very concrete solution,” he said, “especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated. So, with a special pass, I would say.” Macron said that officials are currently creating a testing and/or vaccine certificate to help facilitate travel between European nations, signaling that France will rely upon some variation of a so-called “vaccine passport” to restart foreign travel.
“The idea, indeed, is altogether to offer that to the American citizen when they decide to vaccinate or with a PCR test being negative,” he explained. “So, the idea is, indeed, to always control the virus, to maximize the vaccination and to progressively lift the restrictions.”
At the moment, France is itself currently contending with another wave of COVID-19 infection and in the midst of its third national lockdown since the pandemic began. In a televised national address given at the end of March, Macron attributed this latest surge to the spread of new COVID-19 variants, which are even more transmissible than the virus’ previous strains and have essentially created what he called “an epidemic within an epidemic”.
This most recent surge in France is also fueled by the country’s lag in getting its residents vaccinated, but Macron said that Europe’s vaccine production has accelerated and immunization efforts have gained momentum, so that France should now, hopefully, be on track to meet its targets.
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