After a global outcry against the EU’s decision to only recognise the AstraZeneca vaccine, France decides to accept visitors vaccinated with Covishield, the India-made version of AstraZeneca.
France will allow international travellers who have had 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, according to a statement from the prime minister on Saturday.
A global outcry took over the fact that the Covid-19 certificate of the European Union only recognises AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe. This outcry initiated the move for visitors vaccinated with by India’s Serum Institute to be accepted.
The Indian version of the vaccine is used in the UK and around Africa, it is also accepted by several other EU countries. France recognises only those vaccines authorised by the EU drug regulator, those made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson&Johnson and AstraZeneca. It still doesn’t recognize vaccines from China or Russia.
A negative test less than 24 hours old needs to be presented to cross the French borders by anyone who isn’t vaccinated arriving from Portugal, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece or Cyprus, starting Sunday.
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According to Saturday’s statement, Mozambique, Tunisia, Cuba and Indonesia have now been added to France’s “red list” of countries with high virus risk. France, however, will now accept fully vaccinated travellers even from any red list countries.
Earlier, the time frame for when a person is considered fully vaccinated after the second dose by France was two weeks, however they have now shortened it to one week.
French President Emmanuel Macron this week announced that special Covid-19 passes will be required in all shopping malls, restaurants, bars, hospitals, trains, and planes. People must be fully vaccinated, should have recently recovered from the virus, or should have a fresh negative virus test to get the pass.
This announcement has made record numbers of people to sign up for vaccinations, but have also prompted anger among some groups, and protests are planned in various French cities against them.