France to accept Tourists with Covid ‘health pass’ from early June

An Electric boat, the Sea Bubbles, aka "flying taxi" cruises on the river Seine with the Eiffel Tower in background during a test in Paris, on September 18, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

Travellers who can prove they’ve had a vaccine or a negative Covid test are to be welcomed back to French cities and beaches in just over a months’ time, according to a timetable published by local media outlets.

The reported measure is among a number outlined by President Macron as the country begins to chart a course out of its third national lockdown and reopen the economy.

Cafes, bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outside and a nightly curfew is to be relaxed from 19 May, following weeks of harsh restrictions.

Mr Macron, who is under pressure from business groups and a Covid-weary public to resume normal life, announced the four-phase plan in an interview with the regional papers on Thursday.

The easing will come despite the numbers of new daily cases and coronavirus patients being treated in intensive care being far higher than when the two previous lockdowns were rolled back.

[Primary and nursery schools resume in France despite high covid cases]

The president said the vaccine rollout made the relaxation of rules possible.

“I have never gambled on the health and safety of our citizens,” he said. “I take responsibility for the choices I make, but these are never bets.”

The plan says the nightly curfew being pushed back to 9pm from 7pm CET from 19 May, and to 11pm from June 9, before being scrapped completely on 30 June.

Museums, cinemas and theatres will also be allowed to reopen on 19 May, although the timetable is provisional and could be delayed on a region-by-region basis in areas where intensive care units are close to saturation or the virus incidence rate exceeds 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

“We will be able to pull an emergency brake in territories where the virus is too present,” Mr Macron said.

The incidence rate in Paris and its surrounding areas was an average 459 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to 25 April and is falling, official data showed.

About 22 per cent of all French citizens have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to a Reuters tracker. Accelerating the rollout in France, Europe and in developing countries is paramount to push back against the virus, Mr Macron added.

Source: The independent