“We will progressively lift the restrictions at the beginning of May,” Macron said during an interview with CBS. The restrictions lifted would be for both European citizens and Americans. “We are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say.”
Pre-pandemic, France was the most-visited country in the world with nearly 87 million visitors yearly. Like many other European countries, French officials have banned international arrivals since March 2020 except for essential travel to help curb spreading the coronavirus. France has recorded more infections than any other European Nation with more than 5 million cases and at least 100,000 deaths.
Macron’s announcement, however, comes as the country entered a third national lockdown in early April. Residents have been asked to stay within six miles of their home unless participating in approved activities, such as physical activity and going to the doctor. They must avoid gatherings, schools are closed for in-person learning until April 26, and bars, restaurants, and museums have been closed since the beginning of April.
Health officials have administered 17 million doses of the vaccine shots, and a reported 4.5 million have been fully vaccinated as of April 19.
So, how would entry work?
While plans are still developing, the European Commission proposed issuing a Digital Green Certificate to EU residents who are fully vaccinated, have tested negative for COVID-19, or have recovered from the virus. The proof of any three things would allow EU residents to travel freely within most of Europe.
According to Macron, a certificate or special pass could be extended to American citizens who are also fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test.