France to require 24-hour negative Covid test for non- vaccinated arrivals from 6 European countries

·2-min read

France has said Saturday it would require people arriving from some European countries to show a negative Covid test taken within the previous 24 hours.

Unvaccinated arrivals from the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands will be subject to the new rule, which comes into effect at midnight on Sunday, a statement from the prime minister, Jean Castex, reads.

"Because vaccines are effective against the virus, especially the Delta variant, the requirement on travellers with a complete vaccination regime [to have a PCR test]... will be lifted as of this Saturday 17th of July, regardless of the country of origin," the statement adds.

The Prime Minister specified that travel to countries on the red list remain inadvisable,and that due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, unvaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom, but also from 5 EU countries, will be required to have a negative test negative test (PCR or antigenic) less than 24 hours old.

Castex's announcement comes as the UK government announced on Friday that it would not lift the the mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travellers from France on Saturday, as is the case for other countries.

Red list additions

Tunisia, Mozambique, Cuba and Indonesia have also been added to France's so-called red list.

Travel from red list countries is only allowed on pressing grounds and even then vaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days.

The new measures come as several European nations battle rising caseloads, blamed in part on the highly-transmissible Delta variant which has taken hold on the continent.

New infections have ticked up in France in recent weeks, hitting nearly 11,000 on Friday, even as the government races to vaccinate the population.

President Emmanuel Macron said this week that vaccine health passes would be required for entry to most public places and that all healthcare workers must be fully inoculated, sparking a rush to book appointments for the jab.

Around 35.5 million people -- just over half of France's population -- have received at least one vaccine dose so far.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said this week it expects a sharp increase in coronavirus cases, with nearly five times as many new infections by August 1.

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