France will impose a 10-day mandatory quarantine on those arriving from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa over concerns about variants of the coronavirus stemming from the region, the office of Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Saturday.
Flights from Brazil were already suspended until at least next Friday over concerns about the P1 variant of the coronavirus, which is more contagious than the original strain and can also re-infect those who have had the original virus.
"We have observed that the situation is worsening and that is why we have decided to suspend all flights between Brazil and France until further notice," Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament as the decision was announced on Tuesday.
Justifying the decision not to ban flights from the other three countries, officials said the other variants were not as dangerous as the one observed in Brazil. Health officials say the Brazilian variant is particularly virulent.
The new quarantine measures will be gradually introduced over the coming days until they are fully enforced by next Saturday.
The new measures will also restrict arrivals, mainly to French citizens or residents of France and their families as well as other EU nationals.
Arrivals from French Guiana and the Antilles will also be subjected to tests before and after their flights, the statement said.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)