France allows visitors vaccinated with Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine
(Sourced from PTI)
France will now allow international travelers who have received AstraZeneca's Indian-manufactured vaccine into the country starting Sunday. At the same time, France is tightening border checks to control the spread of the delta variant and protect hospitals, Prime Minister said in a statement on Saturday. The move came after a global outcry that the European Union's COVID-19 certificate only recognizes AstraZeneca's European-manufactured vaccines.
Several other EU countries already accept the Indian version, which is notably used in the UK and around Africa. The varied rules from each country have further complicated this summer's travel season. France still doesn't recognize vaccinations by Chinese or Russian vaccines. It only accepts those authorized by the EU drug regulator, i.e., vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.
Starting Sunday, France will also start requiring anyone who isn't vaccinated arriving from Britain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece, or Cyprus to present a negative test less than 24 hours old to cross French borders. Meanwhile, France will now accept travelers from any red list countries if they are fully vaccinated. Tunisia, Indonesia, Cuba, and Mozambique were added to France's red list.
France also shortened the time frame for when a person is considered fully vaccinated after the second dose, to one week instead of two. As infections climb anew, French President Emmanuel Macron this week ordered all health workers to get vaccinated by September 15 and announced that special COVID-19 passes will be required in all restaurants, bars, hospitals, shopping malls, trains, and planes.
To get a pass, people must be fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from the virus, or have a fresh negative virus test. The measures have prompted a record number of people to sign up for vaccinations but have also resulted in anger among some groups.