France News: French scientist tells Macron to close border with UK over Covid | World | New

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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.

“There is certainly an item on the agenda. It is not for the scientific council to decide that, but we want to raise the issue.
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.

The shutdown left thousands of trucks stranded in Kent as they tried to get back to mainland Europe.

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”.

Only truckers and EU citizens on essential trips – who must provide a negative Covid result from the previous 72 hours – can travel from the UK.

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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NHS England today reported 747 deaths among resting patients positive for Covid, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 56,816.

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.

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