France Rejects Israel’s Proposal for a COVID-19 Travel Corridor

France has rejected Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to initiate a travel corridor for all vaccinated citizens of both countries.

The Elysee Palace, however, stated that they had not been approached by Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the matter, which Netanyahu himself firstly introduced in an interview, further pointing out that the country has no plans on carrying out such a collaboration.

“The statements by Benjamin Netanyahu are only his own,” the French Government said in response to the proposal.

“France does not intend, to date, to settle the issue bilaterally,” the government added.

The Elysee Palace further addressed the issue by stating that the European Union, using the mandate that it was given, will decide if the vaccination passport is to be established, reports.

On the other hand, Israeli PM Netanyahu explained that he plans to introduce the passport scheme for other countries, too, even if France refuses to participate in it.

Previously in February, Israel reached an agreement with Greece to allow vaccinated travellers of both countries to visit the territory of each other without being tested or required to stay self-isolated.

However, since Greece is a member of the Schengen Zone, it grants all vaccinated Israeli citizens the right to travel throughout the borderless zone of Schengen after entering Greece.

Except for Greece, the French Government also announced that from March 11, 2021, residents of Israel and some other non-European countries could enter France without a compelling reason, but nothing related to the mentioned travel corridor.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced the rules that Israeli citizens must follow before entering France. Before boarding, they must present an exempted international travel certificate and a sworn declaration stating that:

–          They do not show signs of COVID-19

–          They have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 14 days before travel

–          They agree to submit a virological RT-PCR test upon arrival in France

–          They agree to self-isolate for seven days and submit a virological RT-PCR at the end of the self-isolation period

–          They present a negative PCR test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding

Israel is the first country to vaccinate more than half of its population, in cooperation with Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as an agreement to observe the results.

According to the data published by the health ministry, as of March 10, 2021, around 55 per cent of the total number of its 9 million population received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and 43 per cent have already received the second dose.

Up to this date, Israel has registered 821,762 Coronavirus cases, 6,037 citizens have died, 788,685 citizens have been fully recovered, and it currently has 27,040 active cases.

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