France tightens restrictions on travellers from outside EU
It follows increased concern over the spread of new variants of Covid-19
France is to tighten its travel restrictions on those entering the country from outside of the EU, including the UK, as a prevention against the spread of new variants of Covid-19.
From Monday, January 18, all travellers entering France from outside the EU, regardless of their nationality, must be tested for Covid-19 72 hours before departure and present the negative results to their travel company.
Upon arrival, they are strongly advised to self-isolate for seven days and then take a second PCR test. This is not a legal requirement.
Cross-border workers, goods transport drivers and essential health workers are exempt. There is also an exemption for people travelling from Switzerland to France. Although the country is not in the EU, it is a member of the Schengen Area.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said that the “so-called British variant is responsible for 1.4% of Covid-19 cases diagnosed currently in France”.
“Limitation at the borders, reinforcement of our tracing capacity and a complete maintenance of barrier gestures, we must be more vigilant than ever,” he Tweeted.
Le variant dit variant britannique serait responsable d'1,4% des cas de #COVID19 actuellement diagnostiqués en .— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) January 14, 2021
Limitation aux frontières, renforcement de notre capacité de traçage et maintien absolu des gestes barrières, nous devons plus que jamais être vigilants.
He said that while the British variant is more contagious, there is no evidence to suggest it causes more serious health issues or that it is resistant to current vaccines.
As for the variant that originated in South Africa, known as the 501.V2 variant, Mr Véran said that there have been at least two serious cases of it detected in France.
One was found in the Île-de-France region and the other in Nantes, from a patient who had returned from Mozambique this week.