To Be Quarantined or Not Quarantined: That Is the Question in France

There is confusion on who would be quarantined upon arrival in France this summer. French officials say no quarantine for EU members and Britons, directly contradicting France health Minister’s statement.

A Difficult Time to Enter into France

The travel and tourism industries have been some of the most afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. France is the most traveled country in the world as it hosts 89 million visitors every year. This indicates how difficult it will be for the country’s sector to get back up once this pandemic becomes a thing of the past. But it would seem like this situation is far from over as Olivier Véran, France’s health minister, has announced that all people entering France could face a 14-day confinement, even if asymptomatic.

Furthermore, there are still no indications on when the tourism industry related businesses could reopen their doors. Hotels, restaurants and cafés are still waiting to hear news on a potential reopening date. The country’s borders have been closed to all non-essential travel since April 8. Many people risk being disappointed this summer as it would seem very difficult at this point to imagine entering the country for tourism purposes. In the meantime, one can consult an online French touristic guide to dream and prepare their next French vacations.

A Prolonged State of Health Emergency

In France, the state of health emergency has been extended till July 24th. That will enable the government to enforce the current measures for a while longer, but also to install new ones if they feel the need to do so. There is a lot of talk from lawmakers about reacting accordingly to how the French population will go about their business, once the confinement period is partially lifted. This “wait and see” period only creates more confusion for the tourism industry as they don’t know when they will need to prepare to reopen.

Officials in regions who are most dependants on tourism have already warned the authorities that this situation could become catastrophic if tourism cannot return to some kind of normalcy during the summer period. It is the case of the Island of Corsica, where 3 million tourists stop by for holidays during the warm season, every year. The mayor of Porto-Vecchio says that it would take years for their city to recover if they were to lose the whole season.

Who will be quarantined?

It is still quite unclear who would have to be quarantined when arriving in France in the next few months. There have been contradictory statements from Elysée, the minister of health as well as the London Embassy, creating a lot of confusion around the issue. In the draft bill to extend the state of health emergency, there is an article stating that the quarantine would be imposed on everyone arriving in France from zones where the virus is still circulating. Therefore, it would seem common sense to think that this will be the final path chosen by the government. However, we can assume that the various associations and establishments from the tourism industry will still have their say in the coming weeks on the subject as some of their survival will depend on seeing tourists sooner rather than later.