Issued on: 10/08/2021 – 18:03
The US State Department has urged American travellers to avoid coming to France, adding the country to its maximum alert level for Covid cases.
The State Department issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for France on Monday, based on a parallel warning from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the country’s top medical body.
“If you must travel to France, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC said, adding that “because of the current situation in France, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of getting and spreading Covid-19 variants”.
The advisory came on the same day France rolled out health passports for a range of daily activities including eating out and taking inter-city trains.
France has recorded more than 6 million Covid-19 cases and 112,000 deaths in total, and while hospitalisations are still way off previous highs, an average of 22,000 cases are now being recorded daily.
Infection rates have crept up in popular holiday destinations like the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and especially in France’s overseas territories where hospitals are overwhelmed.
Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion, where the Alpha and Beta variants of Covid-19 are dominant, have introduced lockdown measures.
A total of 74 million vaccine doses have been administered in France, according to the World Health Organization, and over 55 percent of the eligible population (over 12 years old) have received both vaccine doses.
The US is currently on France’s green travel list which means anyone can travel from the States to France for any reason, regardless of their vaccination status.
Last week the CDC published a study showing that even fully vaccinated people could transmit the Delta variant of the virus and advised vaccinated people to begin wearing masks indoors.
The French government has been on the backfoot over its mask-wearing policy. Since Monday 9 August people are no longer required to wear masks in places where the health passport is enforced — such as cultural venues, restaurants, cafés, intercity trains and hospitals.
The CDC also moved Iceland, Israel, Thailand, Aruba and Eswatini onto its Level 4 list on Monday.
Other EU countries such as Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland were already on the list.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20210810-us-authorities-warn-against-travel-to-france-due-to-covid-19-variants-vaccination