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France to add new airport measures as Covid-19 fears grow

France saw an increase of 1,130 new cases of Coronavirus between Thursday and Friday, adding to fears of a ‘second wave’

Since mid-July, fears of a rebound in the coronavirus epidemic have been growing. France’s health minister Olivier Véran said Monday, July 20, that he was concerned about a resurgence of the virus in certain areas. 

“There is a pattern of circulation of the virus that worries us,” he told French public radio station France Info. He added that we are still far from a second wave. 

On Friday, July 24, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that people arriving at airports in France from 16 countries that have been badly affected by Covid-19, including the US and Israel, will be obliged to get tested for the virus at departure or on arrival. The new rule is set to take effect from August 1. 

List of countries affected by new ruling:

Algeria

Bahrain

Brazil

India

Israel

Kuwait

Madagascar

Oman

Panama

Peru

Qatar

Serbia

South Africa

Turkey

United Arab Emirates

The United States

France Info has reported that the government is considering further measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, including stricter border controls and further testing. 

Professor Jean-Paul Stahl, a specialist on infectious diseases at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble, told The Connexion that as it stands, government restrictions are strict enough. 

“I do think that the current recommendations are sufficient. However, if there are more cases, then yes it is necessary to be stricter,” he said. 

The latest report from Santé publique France estimates that as of July 22, there are 178,300 confirmed cases Covid-19 in the country. This is a slight increase since last week when the agency reported 173,000 infected.

As of time of writing, 5,957 people are in hospital due to Covid-19, of which 436 are in intensive care. Four regions, (Ile-de-France, Grand-Est, Hauts-de-France and Guyane) represent 71% of the patients in hospital or intensive care. Mayenne, in Pays de la Loire, is currently the worst-hit department in mainland France, although the number of cases of Covid-19 there is now reducing. 

Speaking to France Info, Doctor Jérôme Marty, who is also the president of the Union française pour une médecine libre, said the next two to three weeks would be crucial. He said that there was an “undeniable progression of the virus” and called for “seriousness” from everyone to lead the fight both individually and collectively”.

According to Prof. Stahl, people in France are not currently taking the virus seriously enough. 

“In certain countries there is not a need to make it mandatory in order for people to understand that they need to take care, but in France it is necessary to make things mandatory so that people apply the rules,” he said. 

“But that’s France.”

Read more on Covid-19

Covid in France: 1,000 new cases in 24 hours spark warning

Latest data: France alert to possible second Covid-19 wave

'We've had no virus backlash', say French Riviera tourists

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