French begins COVID-19 testing for new arrivals from 16 countries

by Maruf Adedeji

France has commenced coronavirus test for the arriving passengers from 16 high-risk countries, entering the country at the French airports and seaports.

The regulation stipulates that travellers, entering from the 16 identified countries with high cases of the infection, will begin having to undergo virus tests upon arrival unless they present proof of a negative test done within 72 hours of their departure.

French prime minister Jean Castex announced the plan, noting that the tests would be required starting from 1 August, 2020.

Those who test positive in France as of Saturday must isolate for 14 days.

General travel from and to France is not allowed from 16 red-zone countries, including the United States and Brazil.

Castex said that the testing is required from those entering France only as French citizens who live in these countries or citizens of these countries with an established residence in France.

Daniel Court expressed his sad experience at the French Rivera city of Nice when he was tested at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

“It is very fast, but I have to say that it’s not very pleasant. It is surprising. But we have to do it,” Court said.

Another passenger, Nadia Vusik of Belarus, got tested after landing at Paris’ main airport and said she thought the new policy made sense.

“It is definitely necessary, and I am happy that in France it is possible to do right here. It is very convenient,” Vusik said.

According to the health authorities, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has jumped on the French mainland in recent weeks, as French government had earlier made mask-wearing mandatory in all indoor public spaces.

So far, there is no indication of another nationwide lockdown as the French government has ruled it out .

France has had a nearly two-month standstill between March and May as one of the measures against the spread of COVID-19 infection.

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