France is ready to welcome back foreign tourists, the government announced Friday, provided they follow a few color-coded rules. Vaccinated visitors from Europe can arrive starting Wednesday, France 24 reports. So can travelers from the the orange-rated US and much of the rest of the world, who won't have to quarantine but will have to show negative PCR or antigen test results from the previous few days. It gets more complicated for people coming from nations on the "red list"—made up of 16 countries battling surges or virus variants, including India, South Africa, and Brazil; they'll have to provide a good reason for their trip and follow certain conditions. Vaccinated visitors won't be tested if they're from Europe and seven "green" nations: Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Singapore.
The reopening comes not a moment too soon for Linda Zenou, a tour guide who had her last customers at the Palace of Versailles in February 2020. Her unemployment benefits ran out in May, per the AP, and it's been a frustrating wait. "Every day there are announcements that the Americans—'Whoopee!' —et cetera are coming back,” she said. For Americans, visiting other EU nations isn't getting easier yet. The European Council made changes in its list of "safe" countries on Thursday but didn't add the US, per the Washington Post. So Americans who go on to other places in Europe from France could still face quarantine or tests. Recovery will take years for the million-worker tourism business in France. A tourism official said the hope is that Americans have saved money during the shutdown and will be eager to to vacation. (Read more France stories.)