France backs off virus warning for Spain and Portugal


France is backing down on virus warning for Spain and Portugal. image: Pexels

The French government tried to allay fears of going to Spain and Portugal.

The French government backtracked on a minister’s warning on Thursday July 8 regarding the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

“Citizens who have booked vacations in Spain, Portugal or elsewhere should not panic,” French Minister of Health Olivier Véran said yesterday in an interview with France Inter radio.

Veran insisted that travel to Spain and Portugal is possible with a ‘health pass’, which is the EU’s system for certifying whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid, has recovered from the virus or has tested negative.

European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune had issued a “message of caution” the day before, adding to citizens’ uncertainty as to whether they could travel or book holidays in Spain and Portugal.

France had joined with the UK and Belgium in advising against travel to Spain, especially Valencia, with the region likely to lose more than € 13m per day due to lack of tourism. The region’s hotel industry has said it regrets the move, stressing the importance of visitors from the three European countries.

According to tourism officials, after the declaration, the Valencian community could lose around 13 million euros per day.

However, in Portugal, Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said countries should rely on the vaccination certificate system that is now in place, according to Bloomberg. It helps assess risks less by region and more by “assessing the specific situation of the person who intends to travel,” he said.

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