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All travellers entering France from Europe by air or sea will have to present a negative PCR test from Sunday 24th January.
The Elysée Palace reported on Thursday that President Emmanuel Macron announced the new rule during a summit with European Council member states. At this same meeting, Council President Ursula von der Leyen said that Europe was in the throes of a “very serious health situation”.
On Friday morning the government clarified that this measure would apply only to arrivals by air and sea, and that people arriving by road or rail would not need a test because of the impracticalities of enforcing it.
The government specified that it must be a PCR test performed in the previous 72 hours. The rapid-result antigen tests on offer at many pharmacies will not be accepted.
The new regulation will apply to all except to essential travellers. The Elysée also specified that “frontier workers and land transporters will in particular be exempt”.
Cross-border workers and hauliers are also exempt from the requirement.
France is not alone in its decision. Many other countries in Europe are making negative Covid tests on arrival the norm, such as the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.
In Stockholm, the European Centre for Disease Prevention, the agency responsible for epidemics, said that Europeans should “prepare for a rapid escalation in the stringency of measures (to counter the virus) in the coming weeks to preserve healthcare capacities and to accelerate vaccination campaigns.”
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