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France allows travelers from UK to enter with negative COVID-19 test

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:03, December 23, 2020

PARIS, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- France will lift its ban on travel from the United Kingdom (UK) from Wednesday subject to a negative COVID-19 test result, the Prime Minister's Office said on Tuesday.

French citizens and foreigners residing in France or in the European Area or those who "must make essential trips" can enter France if they have, "before departure, the result of a negative test (for COVID-19) less than 72 hours old," said the office in a statement.

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, minister delegate in charge of transport, told journalists that "French and EU nationals as well as those who have a legitimate reason to travel" could return to France within the next ten-odd days, that is, until Jan. 6. The measure will then be "re-examined."

Since midnight Sunday, France, like many other European countries including Germany and the Netherlands, has suspended the movement of people and goods from the UK for 48 hours after the UK announced that the spread of a highly infectious new coronavirus strain went "out of control."

After a sharp drop in the number of coronavirus infections linked to the restrictive measures, the virus circulation in France has picked up again in recent weeks, suggesting that tough months are ahead.

On Tuesday, France reported 11,795 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, pushing the total close to 2.5 million. In one day, 386 people died of the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 61,702.

The vaccination campaign, which will begin this Sunday in France, will start with "a few dozen nursing home residents," Health Minister Olivier said on public television channel TF1.

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