Government adviser Arnaud Fontanet, a member of the scientific council who is helping guide President Emmanuel Macron through the coronavirus crisis, said the borders should be closed to Britain and Ireland. He has also proposed a shutdown with other countries that have a strong presence of the mutant strain found in the south-east of England. Mr Fontanet told BFM television: “It is important that we consider whether we need to close the borders to a limited number of countries, especially the UK and Ireland.
French authorities have announced that the infectious variant, found in Kent, has been detected in Marseille and the French Alps.
Mr Fontanet added: “The new variant of Covid is almost a new epidemic within the epidemic.”
France and dozens of other countries slammed the closure of their borders with Britain in the days leading up to Christmas after the Covid mutation was identified.
France has maintained severe travel restrictions in the UK since the partial reopening of the border just before Christmas.
President Macron’s government last week extended its entry ban for travelers from the UK until “further notice”.
Mr Fontanet said the new variant, first found in Kent, was more contagious than the original Covid virus.
But he insisted there was no sign that the bug had a higher mortality rate.
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Boris Johnson has also tightened border controls on entry to England amid fears of another mutant strain ravaging South Africa.
Travelers entering England and Scotland will be required to provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure.
The World Health Organization’s European task force has called for stepped-up measures to counter the spread of the new variants.