France tests travelers from 16 countries

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PARIS The French Prime Minister announced on Friday afternoon new measures against the new coronavirus.

During a press briefing at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport near Paris, Jean Castex detailed the new rules for passengers arriving in France.

The measures include an increase in daily swab withdrawals from 2,000 to 6,000 at Roissy and to 2,000 per day at Orly airport. Additional healthcare professionals will be recruited to perform the tests.

Castex also announced an increase in screening requirements for travelers from a list of 16 high-risk countries, including United States, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Panama, South Africa, Kuwait , Qatar, Israel, Peru, Serbia, Algeria, Madagascar, Oman. , Turkey and India.

Morocco could be added later.

All travelers from these countries must submit a test certifying that they are COVID-19-negative and will be tested on site in the absence of such a document. If they are infected, they will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days.

“We know that in a number of these countries there is no screening strategy and access to testing is difficult. As a result, we have decided to generalize the tests on arrival, ”he said.

France maintains a closed border with these 16 countries, with exceptions reserved for French nationals or residents of the country.

Castex had attended a Defense Council meeting on Friday morning at the Elysee Palace with President Emmanuel Macron and key ministers to discuss these measures, as well as other measures needed to control the virus.

More than 1,000 new cases were recorded across the country at the end of Thursday in France, according to director general of health Jerome Salomon.

To help stem the spread of the infection, the Minister of Health Olivier Veran introduced the compulsory wearing of a mask in closed public spaces from Monday.

Castex also warned against travel to Catalonia in northeastern Spain, a popular summer destination for French tourists.

Authorities in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona have urged its 4 million residents to stay at home after a growing increase in coronavirus cases and infection rates. Currently, there are 67,217 cases of infection and 5,678 deaths recorded in Catalonia alone.

“We strongly recommend that the French avoid going there, until the health situation improves,” Castex said, adding that officials were in talks with their Spanish counterparts to limit visitors to France as well.

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