France bans unvaccinated travelers from US & Israel, removes countries from ‘green’ list

The French government has taken the US and Israel off its list of ‘safe’ countries in terms of Covid-19 risk, imposing restrictions on the arrival of unvaccinated tourists from both places.

The US and Israel were bumped from France’s so-called ‘green’ list of safe countries to the list of ‘orange’ states where there is substantial circulation of the virus. The move means that, starting from Saturday, France will effectively be closed for tourists from either country.

If they want to visit France, unvaccinated Americans and Israelis will have to provide an ‘essential’ reason for the trip, submit a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 72 hours before departure, and quarantine themselves for seven days on arrival. 

The EU advised member states to restrict non-essential travel from the US and Israel late last month, and removed them both from its ‘white list’ of safe countries. Just like European nations, both have been hit by the more contagious and deadly Delta variant of the virus. 

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden rolled out a plan to impose vaccination mandates for several categories of worker, including those working in companies with 100 or more employees, in an effort to push 80 million unvaccinated Americans toward getting the shot.

Israel, meanwhile, expanded its vaccine booster-shot campaign to everyone aged 12 and older late last month in order to curb the spike in infections. 

Once they are in France, vaccinated travelers will also need to register to get the controversial French ‘health pass’ that grants access to venues such as bars, restaurants, and some tourist sites.