Besides France, the vaccine is already approved by Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Slovenia. Separately, Iceland and Switzerland have also winked at visitors vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine. A number of countries including Italy, Croatia and Norway have yet to approve Covishield.
France’s decision to approve the vaccine came as a surprise as the country has seen an increase in the number of infections in recent weeks. In addition, the Delta variant, which is highly contagious, is of growing concern. In an effort to contain the COVID epidemic, the French president recently announced a number of measures, including the mandatory use of the COVID health pass for entry into most public places. The French government is also fighting to vaccinate all its health workers.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is said to have predicted an increase in COVID cases as early as August. As such, all non-essential travel is currently strongly discouraged.