Citing an European Union recommendation for member states to impose stricter entry requirements, France moved several nations from the Green to Orange list status, which restricts nonessential travel by unvaccinated individuals.
The E.U. two weeks ago took several countries, including the United States, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and others, off its safe travel list. Delta variant cases have surged in some countries, and the U.S. has shown a lag in vaccinations in some states.
France already imposed a stringent set of restrictions as cases rose sharply in the country at the start of the summer due to the rise in delta prevalence. The government instituted the use of a "sanitary pass" – the official name for proof of vaccination – for entry into indoor shared spaces.
The new restriction will take effect starting Sept. 12. Fully vaccinated individuals will continue to enjoy unrestricted entry.
Unvaccinated individuals may enter the country as long as they can cite an essential reason for travel: Tourism, family visits or second homes are not considered essential reasons.
Unvaccinated individuals must also present a negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours prior to entry and must quarantine for seven days after arrival.
Several other countries in the E.U. – such as Spain and Italy – have amended travel restrictions for U.S. travelers, while Bulgaria and Norway have outright banned any U.S. travelers.