Foreign tourists visiting France will have to pay for Covid-19 tests starting July 7, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said in an interview published Wednesday.
Attal said the new measure was about "reciprocity" since French tourists are required to pay for their tests abroad.
“We have decided foreign tourists should pay for those tests, €49 for PCR tests and €29 for antigen tests," Attal told Les Echos newspaper, adding: "This is about reciprocity, as French people travelling abroad have to pay for those tests in most countries.”
Foreign tourists arriving from “red list” countries need to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken less than 48 hours before their departure for France and they are tested again upon arrival in France. Red list countries include Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Uruguay. On June 25, Namibia, Russia and the Seychelles were added to the list.
Vaccinated visitors from these countries must pledge to self-isolate for seven days, and unvaccinated visitors are also subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Visitors from other countries do not need to undergo a Covid-19 test in France unless they fall ill.
Foreign nationals leaving France may also be required by their destination country to take a PCR test before arriving.
The French government’s leading scientific adviser Professor Jean-François Delfraissy said earlier on Wednesday that France is likely to have a fourth wave of the Covid-19 virus, due to a resurgence of cases caused by the Delta variant.
"I think we will have a fourth wave, but it will be much more moderate than the previous three waves because the level of vaccinations is different compared to before," Delfraissy told France Info radio.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran said earlier this week that the Covid-19 Delta variant, whose rapid spread around the world has led some countries to reimpose travel restrictions, now represented around 20 percent of France's infections.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)