[Update December 3 16:30 - Further information is available here: Lateral flow pre-departure tests to be accepted for UK-France travel]
France will require a negative Covid test for all travellers arriving in the country from outside the EU, the government has announced today (Wednesday, December 1).
This applies to vaccinated travellers as well as unvaccinated travellers, who already had to carry out a pre-departure test in the 24 hours before their journey. For vaccinated people, the test must have been taken within 48 hours of departure for France.
The type of test – PCR or antigen – has not been specified nor when the rule will be enforced.
No test is currently required for vaccinated travellers arriving from a country within the EU. However, non-vaccinated travellers from another EU country must now provide a negative Covid test taken within the last 24 hours.
“The health situation is deteriorating rapidly,” said government spokesperson Gabriel Attal in a press conference following a ministers’ meeting this morning.
Speaking on the situation in Southern Africa which has been particularly affected by the Omicron “variant of concern”, Attal said that flights will resume between France and seven southern African countries on Saturday, but with severe restrictions for passengers.
These countries will be the first to be classified under a new traffic-light travel category: “scarlet red.”
There were almost 50,000 new cases in the past 24 hours in France, and an average of 28,286 cases per day over the last week.
The first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in France was identified yesterday (Tuesday, November 30) in the overseas territory of Réunion.
Thirteen suspected cases of the variant are currently known in mainland France, Mr Attal added.
WHO has denounced border closures over the Omicron variant, advising vulnerable people to avoid travel to high-risk areas instead.