France begins testing travelers from 16 countries for coronavirus


PARIS >> Travelers entering France from 16 countries where the coronavirus circulates widely must now undergo viral tests on their arrival at French airports and ports.French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last month that testing would be required from August 1 for passengers that France allows from a list of approved countries unless they present proof of a test negative made within 72 hours of departure.

Those who test positive in France from Saturday must be quarantined for 14 days.

France does not allow general travel to and from the 16 countries, including the United States and Brazil. The screening obligation therefore only applies to people who enter into limited circumstances: French citizens residing in these countries or citizens of these countries having a residence established in France.

Daniel Court was tested at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport after coming from the city of Nice on the French Riviera. He admitted that he didn’t like the experience.

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

Another female passenger who was tested after landing at Paris main airport, Nadia Vusik of Belarus, said she believed the new policy made sense.

“It’s really necessary and I’m happy that in France, it is possible to do this here. It’s very convenient, ”she says.

French health authorities say the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases has jumped on the French continent in recent weeks. The government has already made it compulsory to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.

France has had more than 225,000 confirmed infections and more than 30,200 virus-related deaths, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University, but experts say all pandemic figures are too low for a variety of reasons, including limited testing and missed cases.

The French government has so far ruled out imposing another national lockdown after one that paralyzed the country for nearly two months between March and May.


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