Categories
Helpful Information

June 9th – Foreign Tourists arrive!

FINALLY! France IS opening up to foreign tourists from 9th June!

VACCINATED Europeans, plus a few other countries, will be able to visit France WITHOUT taking a PCR Test or even an antigen test. ‘Vaccinated’ means ADULTS who have been fully vaccinated more than 14 days previously by the Pfizer, AZ or Moderna vaccines authorised by the Agence Européenne des Médicaments(AEM) or 30 days after their 1 dose J&J vaccine.

This rule is for residents in GREEN zones and as at June 2nd 2020 ‘GREEN’ is : The European Area including Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore. These countries are considered “safe” in terms of virus circulation.

The ORANGE zone includes the vast majority of other countries in the world, including the UK, the US and Canada.

All Adult travellers VACCINATED by one of the AEM approved vaccines (listed above) from Orange Zone countries are allowed to visit France from 9th June so long as they also have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old.

Minors (under 18) are classed as vaccinated IF their parents are vaccinated, whether they actually are or not. If minors are between 12-18 they need to take a PCR or antigen test before entering France. Under 12 years old children don’t currently need to take any tests but this is likely to change in July when the Europe-wide pass is accepted at which time any child over 6 will need a negative test.

Adults travelling who are not fully vaccinated will still need a ‘compelling reason’ to visit France and must self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. If they visit with their children they will also need to self-isolate.

Explanation or red, orange and green zones for travel to France

The RED zone includes South Africa, India and quite a few South American countries. To be allowed into France, foreign tourists from these countries will need a compelling reason to enter , even for vaccinated passengers. They will ALSO need a negative PCR or antigen test AND A MANDATORY 10 day quarantine is required for unvaccinated passengers. Vaccinated visitors will still have to SELF ISOLATE for 7 days.

Another positive thing for foreign tourists is that IF you’re required to take a PCR test to be allowed back into your own country, all PCR tests are FREE for locals and all foreign tourists. You can just bowl up to a local French pharmacy (you know there’s one on every street corner!!!) or I can organise an appointment with a local doctor or clinic because . That’s one less cost for you 🙂

As at today’s date the information from France is clear, it just needs to dovetail with the rules or guidelines for anyone leaving their respective country.

The US government has just changed their recommendations and have now agreed that vaccinated citizens can travel abroad to certain countries, including France, Spain and Italy but, for the moment, not the UK.

More information in French and this in English.

If you’re so excited you want to check out possible dates straight away LOL, click the big purple button anywhere on my website or these links for the B&B if you’re on your own or there are 2 of you or the Apartment if you are 2 – 4 wanting to stay.

Categories
Events Helpful Information

Anyone for Tennis?

I realise that tickets to watch the Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros are normally like Gold Dust. However this year Galeries Lafayette have decided to create their own socially distanced viewing point complete with deckchairs in front of a giant screen. You can watch the tennis games direct, via France Télévision without hacking out to the 16th arrondissement to wathc this and it’s probably more fun than being at home!

It’s free, but obviously it’s first come first served for the deckchairs!

Buy your own deckchairs styled by the Roland Garros tennis tournament

You can watch every day until 13th June and if there is no play on the courts you can always turn your gaze to the Eiffel Tower (that’s still not open to the public for the moment)!

Rendez-vous at Galeries Lafayette on their Rooftop Terrace which is on the top of the building with the beautiful glass coupole. Bring your own strawberries and cream 🙂

As tourists are meant to be able to vist France from 9th June, I might just see you there 🙂

By the way, click on the deckchair photo and buy your own deckchair!

A très bientôt,

Do join me on Facebook for more whitterings and general information on what’s going on in Paris 🙂

Categories
Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do

What’s behind the door?

Looks uninspiring? This is an excellent example of never knowing what is behind a door in Paris!

In reality there is a 1200m² / 40000ft² space hosting an exhibition dedicated to Banksy.

It’s an ‘immersive experience’. That means there are some of his paintings from private collections but also artists reproduced his art as if you were actually in front of the real thing.

This building, the Espace Lafayette-Druout, is practically round the corner, only as far as the Opéra Garnier, at 44 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre but a little further East. The exhibition is on until 31st December 2021 and late nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm (until the curfew is extended then it migh be later).

Don’t miss it 🙂

If you want more information and to see lots of the pictures, read a bit more here.

Good news on a real Banksy artwork – The painting of a young girl that was stolen two years ago from the door of the Bataclan has been found in the middle of Italy and 6 people have been arrested. (The Bataclan was one of the sites of the terrorist attack on 13th November 2015.) The Reuters article is here.

Categories
News Views

There’s an Angel in our Courtyard

Has anything positive happened for you during this unprecedented Coronavirus time?

We hear so much about the negative side of this horrifying situation but here in France, in Paris and particularly here within the buildings I can see from my balcony and hanging out of my windows there is one change that is really heart-warming. And one very surprising, beautiful and angelic gift. Both thanking our Essential Workers.

The gift first. Since the April 13th extension the daughter of our neighbours living on the first floor of the building just above the ‘was red, now grey’ front door has been treating the whole building to a superb and positively angelic performance for a few minutes every evening.

She has been serenading us with her amazing voice. The acoustics in the courtyard are perfect, we are all hanging of of our windows to listen but why don’t you make up your mind up?

Click here to hear Debussy’s Nuit d’Etoiles. Tell me how you feel once you have listened to it. The high notes brought a tear to my eye. Another evening she sang ‘In uomini, in soldati’ from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte – her character’s name is Despina. If you want to hear more, I post her performances each night on either my Facebook page or 52 Clichy’s Facebook page.

Just before her beautiful performance, every evening at 8pm we clap, bang pans, honk horns and generally make a lot of noise to show our appreciation of all the Essential workers. I clock-watch!! We have to! Beforehand we’re glued to the TV from 7.15pm as the Director of Health gives a comprehensive and very reassuring rundown of all new Coronavirus information from France, / rest of the World plus Q&A which can take until nearly 8pm. Straight after we’re all jumping up at 7.59pm (some people are really quick off the mark).

I go out onto my balcony and from there I can see people hanging out from the building to the right, by the dance studio. They all seem young and it looks like they live on their own as they’re mainly one person per window. We’ve started waving although I can barely make out their shapes but I do know which windows to expect to open.

Opposite, through the trees, normally there is zero movement apart from the children playing football in the afternoons. That’s stopped but now families are waving to each other and people popping out onto their balconies from apartments that have looked empty for years!

The old school / new building is now peopled! During my live-streams on the construction I know I’ve been maligning the ‘poor people who would be living in the dank, dark apartments facing North’. Some people come on to their narrow balconies plus a couple of the lower levels behind the wall and, honestly, they look quite normal! We’re not waving yet, we’re nodding – come on I’m English, I can see their faces so this will be a drawn out process but this has leapfrogged past the reserve normally held by the French for anyone that isn’t family. Hopefully we have broken the ice.

Is your community thanking their Essential Workers? Do tell me what positive and perhaps unexpected outcomes you’ve found from this few weeks.

In the meantime, #StaySafe and keep washing your hands with liquid soap 😉

Categories
News

Lockdown – Part two

It’s blur-day every day in Paris. Even ‘our’ bakery is open 7 days a week now, rather than closed on Mondays, so I can’t ever work out where I am.

We heard on 7th April from the Prime Minister that our lockdown would ‘continue’ so we were braced for the official announcement that would be made by President Macron on 13th about this unprecedented and horrifying situation.

In a very moving speech, Macron was firm, humble, sympathetic, we got some concrete information, some hope, he said he was thankful for what had been achieved, but acknowledged the errors made in not being sufficiently prepared early on, however although the measures were making an impact, lockdown still needed to be extended until May 11th.

On the 11th there’ll be a gradual re-emergence from confinement, including the progressive re-opening of schools. There’ll be a plan in place, well in advance, so we know for who, when and how those changes will affect us, however he did say they would be adapted to the situation as it unfolds.

There’ll be a partial easing of restrictions for businesses from the 11th but restaurants, cafés, cinemas and hotels will open later. No sporting events and festivals will take place before mid-July (the Tour de France has just been postponed to 29th August) and the most fragile members of society won’t be running about outdoors any time soon.

By the 11th, and in order to tackle the virus, the entire population will have been provided with free, reusable masks which will become obligatory when outside. There’s a good, short article in English HERE, but if you want to test your French, here is his full speech so and so that you can check out if you are correct, this is his entire speech in English.

That’s the news so far and, as always, #StaySafe and keep washing your hands with liquid soap 🙂

If you want to read Part 1 on lockdown it’s HERE.