Pack Your Bags, It's Time to Travel
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As of today I do not know anyone (American) who has not been vaccinated. Either they have received one shot, or both shots, but they have gotten some form of a vaccine. Being that it’s still mid-April, and every adult in the US is now eligible to receive one (walk in appointments are now the norm), that’s great news. The US has done a fantastic job getting everyone jabbed.
It is because of this that France has begun plans to open travel to Americans. You may be able to start planning your vacations beginning in early May. Macron stated on Sunday “We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May, which means that we will organize in the summer time with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens, so we are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say.” He further went on to say that France would open to travelers "who are vaccinated".
Let's face it, we all saw this coming. Our numbers are great, and Americans spend a lot of money in France. May is only a few weeks from now. For those Americans who have been asking, it sounds like you can start making plans, if you haven't already.
That said please be aware that only 12.5% of France's population has been vaccinated. They are hoping for 20m in May, 30m in June, and full vaccination by the end of Summer but they have, so far, not hit any of their targets. Whereas 39% of the US population has received one dose, and 25% have been fully vaccinated so far.
While the US has two vaccines available (J&J is currently on hold but may be back on Friday), France doesn't have the same roll out, and many French are skeptical about getting the vaccine, while others have said that they’re flying to the US soon to get the vaccine because they have a better chance of getting the vaccine in America than they do in France. Currently the British variant is the main strain in France, something that is not the case in America. It’s safe to assume that you will be vaccinated, but the French will not be. That makes France less safe than America.
Europe, as a whole, doesn’t plan to introduce it’s vaccine passport until June so you might have to wait for that as well. AirFrance is opening a new direct flight, Paris to Denver, that will start in June. It was mentioned that it will kick off summer travel so plans are in place, but as of today's writing Europe isn’t there yet.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the age of the average American Paris tourist is 50+ (seriously old rich Americans love Paris, followed by early 20’s white girls). I don’t call Paris “the Retirement Home of Europe” (for lack of a scene) for nothing. They are months behind the US so it’s something to keep in mind before you take the plunge, especially if you are more susceptible.
As always, even if travel does open up, please wear masks, even when vaccinated. I cannot stress that enough. Being vaccinated does not make you bullet proof. I have not gotten Covid, I am fully vaccinated, but I always wear my mask. Being fully vaccinated means nothing, I act like I'm not. Please don't be the ugly American, and be mindful of your fellow humans. Let's keep those borders open. It’s already weird being asked to show my vaccine card when I hand over my passport (just another thing to try not to lose), I don't want to ever go back to a world where travel is restricted again.