MIAMI – During an interview with CBS Face the Nation and reported by French TV news channel LCI, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced a progressive easing on travel restrictions to take effect from the beginning of May.

The French President stated that France was organizing “the summer period for French, European, and American citizens” to travel to the country while indicating that the government was working in cooperation on the plan with travel and tourism professionals, sectors intensely suffering from the pandemic and with an almost total stop in travel-linked activities.

“We are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated.” French President, Emmanuel Macron Click To Tweet
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Photo: Burkhard Mücke.

An Optimistic Announcement

Macron continued by confirming the French government’s goal to vaccine 20 million French citizens by the middle of May, 30 million by mid-June, and all adults by the end of summer.

He also pointed out that discussions were ongoing with US authorities to find “concrete solutions” and indicated that a “special pass” may be proposed to “US citizens holding proof of vaccination or holding a negative PCR test certificate.”

In addition, the French President assured that EU member states are actively working on a European health certificate to “facilitate travel after the lifting of restrictions between different European countries with testing and vaccination.”

Variants Lurking at the Door

On the less optimistic side stands the recent travel restrictions applied to travelers arriving from Brazil, Chile, and South Africa in effect since Saturday, April 17. Travelers from these countries are to undergo a strict ten-day quarantine period upon arrival in France to contain the spread of the Brazilian and South African variants of the COVID-19 virus.

The Macron announcement is the most significant one so far by a European leader suggesting that travel restrictions could soon ease across Europe. Italy announced on Friday that it would begin easing certain COVID-19 restrictions ahead of time.

On her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pressed for stronger federal powers in the country’s parliament to expand lockdowns as the number of cases rises in what health experts have said could become a third wave of the virus in the region.

Featured image: Air France Airbus 350-900 F-HTYE – Photo: Casey Groulx/Airways