France says it is easing Covid travel restrictions for seven non-EU states

The French government will ease travel restrictions for people coming in from seven non-EU nations, officials said on Thursday, adding there was no “compelling reason” for extra Covid rules to apply to the shortlist of countries.

French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said on Thursday that the easing of restrictions was possible because of the improving health situation in the seven countries – Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand and the UK. Leymoyne added that Britain was included “because the UK variant now also circulates widely in France.”

Travelers will still have to provide a negative Covid-19 test result issued within 72 hours to be allowed entry to France. The changes are set to be made official on Friday.

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The French move is the latest in a series by EU states to try and recoup some business for the devastated tourism industry in the coming months, and EU chiefs are also expected to announce details of a vaccine pass that works in and outside Europe next week.

Spain’s tourism minister has said the country could begin using vaccine passports in May and that it would look at a green corridor for vaccinated British tourists if there is no wider EU agreement. Greece, Cyprus and Portugal also indicated last week that they are hoping to salvage a summer tourism season through vaccine passports.

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