Friday, June 11, 2021

Vaccinated Filipinos Can Now Apply for France Visas for Non-Essential Travel Purposes

Since June 9, French authorities have opened their borders for international travellers while also allowing vaccinated travellers from orange category countries, such as the Philippines, to enter the country free of quarantine.

According to a press release issued by the French embassy in the Philippines, travellers are now allowed to apply for a visa at the embassy whether they are travelling for essential reasons or not, by providing vaccination evidence, reports.

The vaccination certificate will be valid only if the holder has been administered one of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

However, the unvaccinated travellers coming from a country of the orange category are required to have their purpose of the stay listed as a compelling reason.

The visa appointment booking methods remain the same, meaning that the reception conditions of visa applicants by the service provider will continue to be the subject of particular health measures, such as wearing a mask.

Last week, the French government announced that all countries on the green list would be granted permission to enter the country without undergoing multiple tests or quarantine. Yet, unvaccinated travellers arriving from any green list countries must present a PCR or antigen test performed 72 hours before arriving.

On the other hand, for countries on the orange list, including the Philippines, quarantine requirements depend on the traveller’s vaccination status. Those vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the authorized EMA vaccines must provide an antigen test conducted in the last 72 hours before or take a PCR test 48 hours after entering the country.

Filipinos and travellers from other world countries in the same category who are not vaccinated must present a compelling purpose of entry, a PCR or antigen test taken 72 hours before departure and another one 48 hours after arriving in France, as well as undergoing self-isolation for seven days.

For countries on the red list, French authorities allow entry only to travellers who present essential travelling reasons whether they are vaccinated or not. In addition, they must provide a PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of the arrival and conduct an antigen test after reaching the country. Vaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days, while those who are not vaccinated must undergo the mandatory ten-day quarantine under security forces surveillance.

With almost all EU Member states opening their borders, the COVID-19 passport has played a key role in establishing a safer and more accessible movement for EU citizens. Although the certificate’s implementation deadline is set on July 1, seven EU countries started issuing the document on June 1. Five more countries have since started issuing the certificates since, bringing the number to 12.

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