Changes to UK travel rules may cause problems for some vaccinated travellers, plus a special online event for American expats in France. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. More Updates on UK Travel Rules
Last week’s News Digest brought the long-awaited news that France was finally included on the UK’s amber list for travel. This means that all vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK from France no longer need to undertake the 10-day quarantine or take a Covid test on day 8.
However, a last-minute amendment to the rules was announced on August 12th, stipulating that the UK will not count those vaccinated using two different vaccine doses as ‘fully vaccinated’. This practice was widely used across Europe—including by German chancellor Angela Merkel—and will mean that those travellers will still be subject to the 10-day quarantine on arrival in the UK and the Day 8 test.
If you have received a full dose of a single vaccine (for example, two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine), you will not be affected by this rule change and will still not need to quarantine on arrival in the UK.
See our article on travel between the UK and France for the most up-to-date travel rules.
2. Health Pass Protests Continue
Protests against France’s Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire), which is now required for entrance to cultural venues, bars and restaurants, and long-distance transport across the country, continued this weekend. The now five-week-long protests have seen marches and demonstrations in Paris and other cities across France, with a nationwide turnout of around 215,000 at the most recent events.
Protesters voiced a range of concerns from the vaccination program itself to the impingement of the Health Pass on civil liberties to opposition to the mandatory vaccines for health workers. While protests have on the whole been peaceful, a small minority of protesters displaying anti-Semitic placards have led to police investigations in Paris and Metz.
Polls still suggest that the Health Pass has the majority of support from the public.
Not sure how the Health Pass works? Here’s everything you need to know.
3. Latest on France’s Vaccine Push
The Health Pass might be splitting public opinion, but there’s no doubt that it’s achieving its primary aim—encouraging the initially vaccine-sceptic French public to get vaccinated.
Recent reports from Santé Publique France indicate that half of all teenagers in France have now received at least their first vaccine dose, a promising figure considering that vaccinations only opened to under 18s in mid-June. The figures for the general population (as of August 10th) now stand at 56.4% for full vaccinations, with 67.4% having received their first dose.
4. Online Event for Americans in France
If you’re an American expat living, working, or studying in France, now’s the time to have your say! Congresswoman and chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, Carolyn Maloney, is hosting a virtual ‘Town Hall’ meeting via Zoom on September 20th.
The event, moderated by CNN Paris news correspondent Jim Bitterman, will take place at 6pm French time and will allow attendees to pose questions on French rules, regulations, and policies that affect Americans living in France. If you have burning questions on taxes, finances, mortgages, or life in France, this is your chance to put them to the experts.
You can sign up for the event here until September 17th.
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