As of midnight Friday, March 19, Paris, along with other populous areas of France, have been put under month-long lockdown measures as the country faces an uptick in COVID-19 infections. France recorded 35,000 new cases in just 24 hours, which does not bode well.
I thought we’d be past this, but here we are still. France had their last “wave” in October and November of 2020. Now they’re anticipating another, which means enacting strict measures yet again.
Paris Lockdown March 2021
The COVID-19 variant first encountered in Britain now accounts for ~75% of new cases. The impacts to ICUs, especially in Paris, could be hard hit. The infection incidence in Paris has climbed above 4 per 1,000, which could cause quite a bit of strain in the French capital.
The measures being enacted include the full closure of non-essential businesses. This includes furniture stores, barbers, and clothing stores, among others. Grocers and other stores selling necessities will be able to remain open. Schools will also remain open. Travel within France will be restricted, with residents unable to travel more than 10 kilometers from their homes except for an essential reason. A nationwide curfew is in place as well, which starts at 19:00 every evening.
This third lockdown isn’t a stringent as the past two, but it is the third time the city has experienced this. The government is hoping to roll out vaccination quickly; however, French confidence in the problematic AstraZeneca is abysmally low, with only 1 in 5 being confident in the product after its suspension. Use of this vaccine is supposed to restart soon.
Thoughts About Summer
Given that other European countries are ramping up for a summer that does include holidays this year, it is unfortunate France is facing yet another wave. The European Union will likely be rolling out a COVID-19 travel certificate for travel within the bloc. Summer travel in 2021 is on far shakier ground than I expected.
As COVID-19 continues, the prognosis is poor for the airlines. Stocks for European airlines fell yesterday. People need to know whether they can travel in order to book a summer holiday. If that is up for debate, bookings will remain down and airlines will remain in poor shape. Some may not survive another year without additional cash injections. Some airlines are only planning to fly ~50% of their 2019 capacity. This could even be hopeful if we see a resurgence in the disease.
Personally, I think Latin America and the Caribbean will be the choices for American travelers this year. This is where we see the most open or partially open countries, and I don’t expect things to change much, which makes them a much better bet if you’re from the U.S. I traveled to Colombia during the tail end of their January spike, and much of the country was open for business.
I know many people are itching to go somewhere this year. Europe could end up being more problematic than I expected it would. But I’m sure there will be good options somewhere!
while other EU countries maybe be ramping up the sad reality that France/Germany and Italy is it may nor happen contrary to all professional bloggers saying to the contrary. Notice that these three countries in particular are closing down for at least a month, that takes us into May more or less. Then there is the disaster policy and guidance of the EU versus much to their dismay the well thought out vaccination plan of Britain oh that sure hurts the EU leadership, who in turn has threatened to stop exporting Astra vaccines to Great Britain ( sour grapes?) Back… Read more »
Yeah…it’s gonna be touch-and-go at the best. My only Europe reservation is for Oktoberfest with friends in late September, and I’m even getting nervous about that.
I will only travel internationally once my CDC vaccine card allows me to enter a country without a Covid test AND return to the US without a Covid test. Too much of a hassle and wasted money.
The testing is a hassle and pricey. It’s gonna be more annoying for us who aren’t going to get take the vaccine. I may be getting tested routinely for a very long while.
Do you mean you won’t get the vaccine at all? Why?
Without delving into the specifics, I find it unnecessary for my age and state of health. Reviewing the specific issues of development and testing, I find this particular rushed vaccine extremely problematic and am urging friends to be cautious about getting it.
If you are a traveler then take the vaccine. Or, just stay at home. Last thing we need are more spreaders prolonging this situation.
People who refused the vaccine not only put themselves at great risk they do the rest of the public especially the traveling public. What if I refused Yellow Fever vaccine and sat next to you flying out of Africa? Being a former USAF driver my arm has been a pin cushion from all the vaccinations over the years and I am still standing. Vaccines work. Please if you travel to Europe this year let us know what flight your on.
My dad was the same. Got quite a few in the Navy. If countries want to mandate vaccination requirements for travel, much of the world could become closed to me and my family. But that is the choice I’ll make. If they allow testing ahead of time, I’ll go that route. Definitely have no problem writing about upcoming flights. Only one I’m booked on currently is UA194 SFO-MUC on 9/18/21, although I’m considering a trip to Kosovo this spring.
This thing is going to go much longer than anyone can imagine. Even with the vaccines. I own an apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and their international airport is still closed to almost all foreigners except a few around neighboring countries and residents. They have already announced an extension of the closure until December 31, 2021!
That’s crazy! I can’t believe a country like Argentina with nearly 10% of their GDP being tourism can sustain that choice.
lol at all the fear mongering here.
I’ve hit 30 countries and all 6 continents in the last 15 months alone.
I’ll go to Europe this summer like normal. (All on US passport)
I can’t believe the story is still getting spread that flying is scary or something.
Good grief people, you have to grow up at some point in life.
Maybe 2021 is your year to think for yourselves?
No fear here, George. 🙂
Just hoping that the rules change.
I was afraid that something like this would happen. So the only trip I have booked overseas is Europe in September of 2022. Nothing booked before that. I think 2021 is still a gamble and my approach to this year is: if things somehow really clear up and most places are almost normal (with nominal/minimal travel restrictions), I will book my tickets at that time (even if I have to pay a premium) and go. I’m OK with paying a premium price since I saved a ton of money from all the major trips I cancelled last year. Cancelling multiple… Read more »
Same. I canceled one to Copenhagen, another to Seoul, and a third to Sao Paulo. All hurt.
Premium prices are fine, but miles are gold right now, especially for premium cabins. Consistent availability except for peak dates. 😉