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The government of France is taking new measures to slow the country’s rising number of COVID-19 cases. One of those steps was to place the U.S. — which is setting new records for daily and weekly case counts of COVID-19 — on its “Red” list of countries where “active virus circulation is observed with the presence of variants of concern.”

If you are a U.S. citizen who is not vaccinated for COVID-19, that means you must have a “compelling reason” for visiting and you must complete an International Travel Certificate to confirm the purpose of your trip. You will also need to immediately quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in France. 

On the other hand, if you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to quarantine.

Two Troubling Situations

France is dealing with an alarming number of COVID-19 cases.

The good news is that nearly 74 percent of the eligible population of France is vaccinated for COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

On the other hand, France reported 1,388,075 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, which is a record one-week high. That number is noticeably up from the previous high of 1,134,801 cases reported for the week of December 26, 2020–January 1, 2021, according to the Johns Hopkins University data.

Making the situation worse, France reported a record-breaking 332,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday, France 24 reports. The previous 1-day record of new cases, 

271,686, was reported on Tuesday, according to data from the public health office, Reuters reports

Considering those rising numbers of new cases, it’s understandable why the U.S. was placed on France’s Red list of countries. After all, the U.S. is similarly struggling to control the virus.

Just over 62 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated for COVID-19, however, the U.S. reported more than 1.71 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That number is a global daily record for new cases, however, it may be inflated due to a backlog over the New Year’s weekend. On Wednesday, 704,369 new cases were reported in the U.S., the New York Times reports

Additionally, more than 113,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CNN reports. This is the first time the total number of hospitalized patients has reached six figures in nearly 4 months, Health and Human Services notes.

Entering France

Any person aged 12 and over entering France or a French territory must present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test that was taken less than 48 hours before departure, France’s Interior Ministry explains.

If you are a U.S. citizen and are fully vaccinated, you’ll also need to present proof of your vaccination status. You’ll need to sign a declaration attesting that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 as well.

If you are a U.S. citizen and are not fully vaccinated, you must have a “compelling reason” for visiting and you must complete an International Travel Certificate to confirm the purpose of your trip.

You can learn more about the compelling reason system here.

If you are unvaccinated, you also must sign a declaration attesting that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Next, you’ll also need to agree to take an antigen test upon arrival in France.

Finally, unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. must also fill out documentation explaining how they will quarantine for 10 days, and include information explaining how authorities can confirm they are in quarantine. Then, of course, they’ll need to quarantine upon arrival in France.

You can find more information about entering France here.

Know Before You Go

If you are planning a trip to France, keep in mind that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bluntly warns to “avoid travel to France” due to the very high level of COVID-19 cases. Based on the CDC’s guidance, the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Advisory for France, simply stating “Do not travel to France due to COVID-19.”

While you’re thinking about international travel, be sure to read all of our Travel News coverage as well as our COVID-19 coverage, including “6 Things The State Department Says You Should Do If You’re Traveling Internationally” and “21 Expert Tips For Traveling Internationally Right Now.”

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