France announced on Wednesday that it would allow flights from ten southern African countries from Saturday, but with “drastic” restrictions allowing only French and European residents to disembark, as well as diplomats and flight crews. conduct.
These travelers must undergo a Covid test on arrival, a negative result still requiring a seven-day quarantine, while a positive test will result in a 10-day quarantine, said government spokesman Gabriel Attal after ‘a cabinet meeting.
France is one of many countries around the world that have halted flights from southern Africa in recent days after the most contagious strain of the Omicron coronavirus was reported by South Africa.
But the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that blanket travel bans risked doing more harm than good, potentially deterring countries from sharing data on the evolution of the virus.
Attal said French authorities have so far discovered 13 suspected cases of Omicron which are being analyzed for confirmation.
“Let’s not be fooled or naive, there will most likely be cases in our territory in the hours or days to come,” he said.
Attal also announced that all travelers arriving from outside the European Union should have a negative Covid test no older than 48 hours, in an effort to stop the spread of the more contagious Omicron variant.
In addition, unvaccinated travelers from the EU will be required to test negative within 24 hours.