France will introduce a series of “drastic” new travel restrictions on travelers from the U.K., government officials announced Thursday, as it attempts to curb the spread of the omicron variant driving a record-breaking number of coronavirus infections across the Channel.
From midnight between Friday and Saturday, U.K. travelers will need a compelling reason to be allowed to enter France, the government said in a statement, citing the “rapid spread of the omicron variant in the U.K.”
Those reasons do not include business and tourism, the statement explained, and all travelers will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken fewer than 24 hours before their arrival.
Travelers must quarantine after their arrival, according to the new rules, isolating for either seven days or 48 hours if they show a negative coronavirus test.
French and EU nationals and residents—and their families—are exempt from the new rules.
Coronavirus cases across Europe have surged to record levels in recent weeks. The U.K. reported the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began Wednesday and experts predict omicron will become the dominant variant by the end of December. One analysis suggests it has already become the dominant form of the virus in London, where it is spreading rapidly, in line with warnings from British Health Secretary Sajid Javid. While delta is driving the majority of the European wave, omicron will likely become the dominant coronavirus variant in Europe by mid-January, warned European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, though experts predict it could overtake delta as soon as this week in Norway and Denmark.
Fast-Spreading Omicron Could Become Dominant Variant In Europe Within A Month, EU Leader Warns (Forbes)
U.K. Sets New Record For Daily Covid-19 Cases (Forbes)
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