Speaking to CBS News’ Face The Nation on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said travel restrictions for vaccinated Americans wanting to come to France will be “progressively” lifted from the beginning of May. This should come as good news for industry professionals hoping to attend the Cannes Film Festival which is currently scheduled to run July 6-17. Cannes just this morning announced its opening night film, further indication that organizers are hopeful the event will take place as planned.
Macron told Face The Nation’s Margaret Brennan that the summer season will be organized with “our professionals in France for French and European citizens, but as well for American citizens,” and added he wanted to provide “the best possible summer with the opportunity for your citizens to come to our country because this is something we are very proud (of).”
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He further noted, “We are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated,” and “with a special pass.”
There are ongoing discussions with the American authorities as to how this would play out. Macron explained, “We are building a European certificate to facilitate the travels after these restrictions between the different European countries with testing and vaccination. And the idea indeed is altogether to offer that to the American citizen.”
France’s Covid death toll recently reached 100K and we are currently in a third national lockdown, albeit one with somewhat less stringent restrictions than the first severe lockdown of March 2020. Individuals in France are currently allowed to journey only within 10 kilometers of their homes, while non-essential businesses are closed and a 7PM curfew is in effect across the country.
During a meeting with various French mayors late last week, Macron reportedly said restaurant terraces and museums could receive a green light to reopen around May 15 or 20. In late March, the president had addressed the nation saying he would soon outline an agenda for reopening “certain” cultural venues with a timeline that could begin in mid-May, although he did not specify whether that would include movie theaters. Cinemas in France have been closed since late October 2020.
Macron is now expected to provide a reopening plan in the next week or so, which will then be discussed with the government. The current thinking is that if outside dining resumes mid-May, then further easing of restrictions will be taken in three-week increments.