World France is back: Borders reopen to American tourists, others
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PARIS (AP) — After “a very bad year,” Paris tour operator Marc Vernhet sees a ray of light with the promised return of tourists from the United States and elsewhere who are welcome in France as of Wednesday if they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
His agency, 2CVParisTour.com, is starting to get bookings again from Americans for its sightseeing tours conducted in quirky, bug-eyed Citroen cars. June is still very lean, but July is looking better, Vernhet said as France took the first steps toward rebuilding its position as a top destination for foreign tourists.
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Before the pandemic, Vernhet ran three or four tours of the capital per day. The work dried up when France locked down, and he's only doing around three tours per week now, nearly exclusively for French visitors. Vernhet hailed the reopening of France's borders for vaccinated tourists as “excellent news” but said it is going to take a few more weeks for business to pick up and that “I’m not expecting to work correctly before mid-July."
“We've been waiting for this for months and months,” he said.
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ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president promised Saturday to rescue the Marmara Sea from an outbreak of “sea snot” that is alarming marine biologists and environmentalists. A huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, has bloomed in Turkey's Marmara, as well as in the adjoining Black and Aegean Seas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said untreated waste dumped into the Marmara Sea and climate change had caused the sea snot bloom. Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with some 16 million residents, factories and industrial hubs, borders the sea.
To be allowed in for tourism, Americans and other visitors from most countries outside of Europe will need to show that they have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus with vaccines approved by the European Union’s medicines agency.
France’s acceptance of only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines means tourism isn't immediately coming back from the lucrative markets of China and Russia, which use vaccines not approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Without one of the those four vaccines, non-EU visitors will still need to prove that they have a compelling reason to visit France and must quarantine on arrival.
And for 16 countries deemed high-risk, because they are battling coronavirus surges and worrisome variants, France remains off-limits as a tourist destination, even for would-be travelers who are vaccinated.
These so-called “red" countries include India and some of its neighbors, Brazil and some of its neighbors, as well as Chili, Bahrain, South Africa and Turkey.
Would-be tourists from so-called “orange” countries — which includes most of the rest of the world outside Europe, including the United States and Britain — still need a recent negative PCR or antigen test as well as proof of vaccination.
If unvaccinated, or inoculated with jabs not approved in Europe, would-be visitors from orange countries outside the continent are not allowed to come into France. They would need to show they have a compelling professional or other reason to visit, and sightseeing isn't one of them.
Togo: The terrestrial borders always closed weigh on traders .
© Yanick Folly Travelers at the border crossing between the Togo and Benin, in Hillacondji, April 29, 2021 sitting on a bench at the entrance of a Small clinic in Lomé, Kossigan, former taxi driver of the Lomé-Cotonou axis, lament. Since the closing of the borders imposed over a year ago to limit the propagation of the coronavirus, he had to convert into parking goalkeeper. The "Covid-19 killed our activity.