Current Travel Rules, Vaccine updates and Yes, We are open for business!
Bonjour tout le monde! We hope you are all healthy and getting out on your bikes (if allowed !) We have been receiving inquiries about booking trips for late summer and fall which is exciting and we thank you! We do believe the planning and excitement leading up to a vacation are great for our mental status and even more so this year. We are also receiving messages that many of you have already been vaccinated and asking about the status of the opening of the French borders. Below we’ll attempt to update you on the current situation.
Do we need to have a vaccine or vaccine passport for our holiday?
The national vaccine program in France is still ongoing. You will have seen in the news this week that France along with other EU countries suspended the use of one of the vaccines for 48 hours. Please be aware that there are 3 other vaccines also being administered. There is a feeling that this is not always fully understood.
Many believe that France had no choice other than to follow the suit of other countries in suspending the vaccine but the government has very clearly stated that once the European Medicines Agency (the agency in the European Union in charge of the evaluation and supervision of medicinal products) passes its opinion on the vaccine in question it will be reinstated. Today the 19th of March 2021 it was.
To date, the team in the UK has been vaccinated, and some of the local guides in France received theirs last week, with others scheduled for mid-April.
There is a lot of press around the world about countries creating digital vaccine passports or within the EU the "digital green pass" for those wanting to travel. Air France, in cooperation with the French Government, announced on March 11th they are launching a one-month trial of a phone application of a vaccination passport.
We do not have a lot of information on this yet but do know this is and will continue to be a controversial subject concerning the rights of individuals. IATA ( International Air Transport Association) has also indicated that there needs to be a universal solution. Please feel free to ask us any questions if any if this is not clear or you would like further information, and we’ll try our best!
Travel Rules...for the minute...
Keeping up with travel rules is a bit like the breakaway in the Tour De France, just when they think they are in the clear, the peloton reels them back in! Between vaccine shortages in some countries, suspension of vaccines in others; and an abundance of vaccines elsewhere is it any wonder that it is difficult for leaders around the world to determine who can travel and where? Never mind mere mortals like us trying to weave our way through the peloton to get back up front.
France has announced that as of March 12 persons traveling from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Kingdom no longer need a compelling reason to travel here. Great news, sort of.....
Whilst the French government will allow travel into the country there are still many requirements that go along with that travel. Seven-day quarantine, a nationwide curfew from 6 pm to 6 am, restaurants and cultural places remain closed, certain areas including Paris are in lockdown until the beginning of April, and a requirement of a negative test - and that is just to get in. You then have to find a way back to the country you have traveled from.
Not an ideal vacation just yet!!
Updates to current regulations on the opening of restaurants, curfew lifting, etc are expected in April with the government indicating they expect to have a summer season IF they can continue with their vaccine program. Much like the UK, the USA vaccine program is deemed a success and the overall health situation is reported as improving. Macron has said they will continue to review with hopes for a reopening of borders between the two countries at the beginning of summer. This is also dependent on France's health situation. We do not currently have any information relayed for Canada .
The Bottom line - We are open for business.
Whilst we can not definitively advise you what the season will look like, if you would like to book with us, please email us with the tour you are interested in. We will NOT be taking deposit bookings until we know travel is back open and we can run the tour, but we are happy to discuss your travel plans. Knowing what tour you are interested in will allow us to better provide an idea of how many people we have wanting to take the same tour and assist us in letting our hotel providers know what rooms we may need. We have more confidence in tours running September and onwards and will be removing tours earlier in the year where no one is registered.
We will continue to monitor the travel rules and update via our Facebook, Instagram, and website.
As always we are available to talk by phone and respond to email questions. For full details, check out our website. And, as always, you can contact Mike, Susan, or Joe by phone +44 1923 894305, or email - email@example.com if you would like to discuss any of our tours in greater detail.