Saturday, October 1, 2022

France ends travel restrictions with Britain over Omicron concerns

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France announced on Thursday that only specified categories of people would be allowed to travel between the two countries, and anyone arriving from Britain would have to self-isolate due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Britain.

Truckers would however be exempt from the new rules, the French government said, easing British concerns the restrictions could lead to supply chain disruptions.

France said it is now taking action because the Omicron version of the COVID-19 virus, which scientists say appears to be highly contagious, is spreading rapidly in Britain.

Buyers walk through the Liverpool City Center in Liverpool, Britain, on December 13, 2021.

Buyers walk through the Liverpool City Center in Liverpool, Britain, on December 13, 2021.

“Our goal is to limit the spread of Omicron in our region as much as possible,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on BFMTV television station.

“Tourism and business travel for those who are not French citizens or Europeans, those who are not French residents, will be limited,” he said.

He said France currently has 240 confirmed cases of omicron, far fewer than in Britain.

The new restrictions announced by Paris mean that only British nationals allowed to travel from France to the UK are those returning home, those attending the funeral of a close relative, those traveling for medical reasons, those doing essential work. people and some other exceptional cases.

Under the new rules, people are only allowed to travel from the UK to France if they are a French citizen, or a foreigner permanently residing in France, performing essential work, or for less than 24 hours. are in transit.

self chosen solitude

Before entering France, travelers will need to have a negative PCR or antigen test that is not older than 24 hours. The test could be taken 48 hours before the first admission.

Once travelers reach France, they will have to self-isolate for seven days, although the isolation will be lifted after 48 hours if a test done in France is negative. Until now, the ban only applied to non-vaccinated travelers from the UK.

Pedestrians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as they wait at a crosswalk, near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, December 14, 2021.

Pedestrians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as they wait at a crosswalk, near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, December 14, 2021.

According to a document published by the French government, the new rules take effect after midnight on Friday night.

A representative for the French transport ministry said truck drivers were among the categories still allowed to travel, and the new testing and self-isolation requirements would not apply to them.

Lines of cargo trucks are seen on the A20 road at the Port of Dover in Dover, Britain, on December 16, 2021.

Lines of cargo trucks are seen on the A20 road at the Port of Dover in Dover, Britain, on December 16, 2021.

On Thursday morning, a Reuters photographer spotted trucks driving several miles on the main road in the British port of Dover, the busiest departure point for seafaring France. It was unclear what caused the tail-back.

The latest figures released on Wednesday showed new COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom reached the highest daily level since the start of the pandemic, with more than 78,000 reported.

France on Wednesday reported 65,713 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 8.4 million. The total deaths in France have reached 120,983 since the start of the pandemic.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.]

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