France bans entry for British tourists over Omicron surge


France is set to impose tougher entry conditions for British travelers, the French government announced on December 16, 2021. 

“We are going to put in place even more drastic testing measures on the border with the United Kingdom,” said French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal in an interview with BFMTV. “We are going to reduce the validity of the test to come to France. It was 48 hours until now, it will drop to 24 hours. We will limit the reasons for coming from the United Kingdom to France.” 

The restrictions should come into force on December 18, 2021, according to the French Consul General in London, Guillaume Bazard. “Test validity reduced to 24 hours. Antigen tests are still accepted. 48-hour isolation + test. Coming into force on Saturday morning,” Bazard said on Twitter. Up until now, such restrictions have only applied to unvaccinated people. 

So far, 240 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in France, though that number is suspected to be much higher by the authorities. In the United Kingdom, new Omicron infections are estimated at 200,000 per day, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on December 13, 2021.

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