PARIS (Reuters) – France will beef up controls on travellers arriving from Britain after a steep rise there in infections linked to the Omicron coronavirus variant, the government said on Thursday.
The measures include reducing the validity of antigen and PCR tests to 24 hours from 48 hours for arriving travellers and limiting reasons to travel from Britain to France.
“We are going to put in place a control….even more drastic than what is currently in place,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM television.
“Tourism and business travel for people who are not French nationals nor Europeans, people who are not French residents will be limited,” he said.
Travellers from Britain arriving in France will have to self-isolate for seven days, though isolation will be lifted after 48 hours if their test conducted in France is negative.
These restrictions until now applied only to non-vaccinated travellers from Britain.
“Our goal is to limit as much as possible the spread of Omicron across our territory,” Attal said, adding there were currently 240 confirmed Omicron cases in France.
The latest figures released on Wednesday showed new COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom reached the highest daily level since the early 2020 start of the pandemic, with more than 78,000 reported.
France on Wednesday reported 65,713 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours, bringing total cases since the start of the epidemic to 8.4 million. Total deaths in France since the start of the epidemic reached 120,983
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Angus MacSwan)