Guwahati News Desk: France shall allow international travellers who have had AstraZeneca’s Indian-manufactured vaccine, Covishield into the country starting Sunday.
According to a statement from Prime Minister Jean Castex on Saturday, France is tightening border checks to control the spread of the delta variant and protect hospitals.
Starting from Sunday, France will start requiring anyone who isn’t vaccinated arriving from Britain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece or Cyprus to present a negative test less than 24 hours old to cross French borders.
France’s move to accept visitors vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine made by India’s Serum Institute came after a global outcry over the fact that the European Union’s (EU) Covid-19 certificate only recognizes AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe.
Meanwhile, several other EU countries have already accepted the Indian version, which is notably used in the UK and around Africa. However, France still doesn’t recognize vaccinations by Chinese or Russian vaccines, only those authorized by the EU drug regulator, including those made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson&Johnson and AstraZeneca.
Although Tunisia, Indonesia, Cuba and Mozambique have now been added to France’s “red list” of countries with high virus risk, France has now agreed to accept travellers from any red list countries if they are fully vaccinated. In addition, France has also shortened the time frame for when a person is considered fully vaccinated after the second dose, to one week instead of two.
Although these measures have prompted an increase in the numbers of people to sign up for vaccinations, they have also prompted anger among some groups, for which protests were planned against them, in various French cities on Saturday.