For now, we understand that the Cannes Film Festival has daily conversations with the competent French authorities on this issue. The hope is that we can provide those in the UK who intend to attend the festival with a clearer picture of the situation in early June. Among the discussions is a possible waiver for UK executives and talent at the festival, but that would be up to the French government to decide.
PRECEDENT, 02:00: The French government has imposed a seven-day self-isolation period on visitors arriving from the UK, which will go into effect on May 31.
Dave Chappelle documentary to close Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall
The move was taken in response to concerns about the so-called ‘Indian variant’ (B.1.617.2), which has seen an increase in cases in the UK in recent weeks and has been shown to be more communicable than other forms of viruses. However, a recent study found that two injections of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines protected the Indian variant as effectively as others.
Overall, the number of Covids in the UK remains low and a recent slight increase in cases may also be partially linked to the easing of lockdown restrictions earlier this month.
The French government is taking no risk. Covid cases in the country have declined steadily over the past month, from north of 60,000 cases per day in April count to closer to 12,000 yesterday (May 26). The UK, which has undergone a rapid vaccination program, recorded just under 3,000 cases yesterday.
The rules will have no impact on French nations or residents. Travelers who are ready to accept the seven-day quarantine also need a “compelling reason” to travel and will still need to produce a negative test before departure. The period of self-isolation is slightly less than that of visitors from countries like Brazil, India, Argentina and Turkey.
If these rules remain in place, it would likely affect UK travelers planning to go to the Cannes Film Festival in July. The new measure was only announced last night and more information will be available in the coming days, but it does not appear at this time that working travelers would be exempt, except for motor carriers.
France had previously said fully vaccinated British travelers would be welcome without quarantine from June 9. Other European countries have also decided to restrict travelers from the UK in response to the Indian variant, including Germany and Austria, while other countries like Spain have recently reopened. British travelers looking to kick off the economically crucial tourist season.
Travelers from the United States must currently present a compelling reason to enter France, although this may be occupation-related. Those rules are expected to be relaxed from June 9, once the European Union’s ‘health pass’, which would display fully vaccinated status or recent negative test, is introduced. The CDC currently advises against all travel to France.
As always with Covid, the situation remains fluid.