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Reader question: Which Covid vaccines will France accept for tourists this summer?

thelocal– As France plans to welcome back tourists this summer, some worry their Covid vaccination type won’t be accepted at the border.

Question: I was thrilled to hear that France is welcoming back vaccinated Americans this summer, but will I be able to enter with the Moderna vaccine? 

France plans to lift travel limits on non-EU countries on June 9th, provided the health situation remains stable enough for the country to continue with its gradual reopening.

Meanwhile people can travel for any reason – including tourism, family visits and visits from second-home owners – from within the EU and Schengen zone and seven non-EU countries, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

French President Emmanuel Macron set the date as he announced the plan to phase out Covid restrictions in the country, specifically saying he wanted to welcome Americans back to France this summer.

This is in line with the EU’s policy, although EU leaders have yet to set an exact date.

International travel over the summer will however require valid health pass, a digital document that contains a vaccination certificate or a recent negative Covid test result.

How exactly this will work remains somewhat unclear. France is working on its own version of a health pass – pass sanitaire – as well as with the EU, and the goal that each country’s pass will be scannable and valid by authorities abroad.

 

But which vaccines will be accepted on the border?

“All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all (Americans) who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by the European Medicines Agency,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said back in April.

The EMA has so far cleared four vaccines, all of which are in use in France: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson (which is known as Janssen in France) and AstraZeneca.

It is currently reviewing the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, which may be approved for use if it stands up to the regulator’s requirements, but at present has not begun the formal process for the Russian Sputnik vaccine.

France is working on a new traffic light system that will determine the travel limits in place for tourists coming in from different countries. Due to a mounting fear of new Covid variants, France already placed several countries on a ‘red’ list obliging travellers to comply with strict rules including a compulsory police-enforced quarantine period.

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