Permitting entry for vaccinated travellers has become the most normal and acceptable fact of this summer, quite differently compared to April 2020 when SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that a vaccine would for sure become mandatory for those wishing to travel throughout the Schengen Area once it is approved and available. At the time, the idea was widely criticised and doubted.
Yet, being vaccinated against COVID-19, and being vaccinated with one of the vaccines accepted as valid proof of immunity by a destination country, have sometimes turned out to be two different things for some travellers.
Travellers’ excitement for the reopening of borders across the European Union Member States, in particular for those vaccinated, has recently been extinguished by the fact that some of the countries in the block accept only a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines as proof of immunity for travel into their territory.
France, one of the world’s top tourism destinations, is also among the countries that do not accept a wide number of COVID-19 vaccines as proof of immunity against the virus, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In order to be eligible to enter France under their border reopening policy for vaccinated travellers amid COVID-19, one must be vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency.
“Only vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be accepted, i.e. Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen),” the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out.
In order to be eligible to enter France as a vaccinated person, the traveller must be fully vaccinated, which means:
- At least 14 days have passed since the second shot for two-shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca)
- At least four weeks have passed after the shot for one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson)
Travellers who have previously been infected with COVID-19, and have recovered, can enter France after two weeks of receiving the first jab of the vaccine.
Does France Accept Covishield Vaccine?
Unlike some other EU countries, like Belgium, which accepts the Covishield vaccine for entry, France does not.
The issue of the Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, has been widely discussed in the media recently, as the majority of EU countries do not accept this vaccine as valid, though they accept the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Europe.
The CEO of the Indian manufacturer of this vaccine, the Serum Institute India (SII), Adar Poonawalla, has insisted that he has taken up the issue and is working to address it soon.
“I realise that a lot of Indians who have taken Covishield are facing issues with travel to the EU, I assure everyone, I have taken this up at the highest levels and hope to resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries,” he had stated on June 28.
However, the majority of EU members, including France, refuse to approve this vaccine without EMA authorising it first.
SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported that nearly 300,000 Canadians who have received at least one shot of this vaccine might face entry restrictions as quarantine and (double) testing, in spite of Canada being added to the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe third-countries, since the vaccine is not approved yet by the EMA.
How Does Being Vaccinated Make It Easier to Travel to France?
France permitted restriction-free entry for vaccinated travellers from 38 countries on June 9, including the rest of the EU members, through the colour coded system, which list has been expanded several times by now.
Since then, France has grouped world countries in three categories – green, orange, and red, and based on these categories are also set out the entry rules that apply to them.
Restriction-Free Entry for Vaccinated Travellers from Green Countries
Travellers from the countries in the green category can enter France with only the results of a PCR or antigen test taken in the last 72 hours before their arrival to France. Travellers who are vaccinated, however, do not need to present test results at all.
Currently in this list are the 26 European Union Member States, Andorra, Vatican, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland, as well as the following third countries: Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Vanuatu.
Vaccinated Travellers From Orange Countries Can Enter for Tourism
On the other hand, travellers from countries in the orange category can enter France for non-essential purposes as tourism only if they have been vaccinated. They are only required to present negative COVID-19 test results of a PCR test taken in the last 72 hours or an antigen test performed within the last 48 hours.
As per unvaccinated travellers, they can only enter if they have an essential purpose of entry. They are also subject to the requirement of test results, as well as a period of self-isolation for seven days.
The list of orange countries consists of every country/territory in the world, except those on the green list and red list.
Shorter Entry Quarantine for Vaccinated Travellers from Red Countries
Finally, travellers from the red countries can enter France only if they have a compelling purpose for entry. They are subject to both double testing and quarantine requirements. Vaccinated travellers, however, are required to isolate for only a week, while those unvaccinated should quarantine for ten days, and they might be checked by security forces if they are complying with the rules of quarantine.
Countries listed as red are Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, DRC, India, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Paraguay, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay and Zambia.
Confusion Among Travellers Regarding the Difference in Acceptance of Vaccines of COVID-19 Immunity
Just when travellers thought the world was opening for them at last, they are now facing a new dilemma: “Does my destination country accept my vaccine as valid proof of immunity?”
While some countries have made their positions known on the COVID-19 vaccines, some others have not bothered to come up with additional official statements whether they recognise particular vaccines or not, what has made it more difficult for travellers to determine whether the vaccine they were jabbed with is accepted by the country they wish to visit.
A new tool developed by VisaGuide.World has turned out to be quite helpful in this regard, as it permits travellers to verify whether the vaccine they have been jabbed with is recognised by the country they wish to visit.