France is welcoming back a number of tourists from across the world, though it has different entry requirements in place for each nation. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued an update with regards to new coronavirus testing which travellers from some places must secure prior to departure.
The move comes as a sudden surge in cases across Europe threatens a second wave of the pandemic.
The FCO explains that certain nations will need to complete “an international travel certificate, which certifies that your journey is essential and confirms that you have not been suffering from a set of listed symptoms associated with COVID-19” prior to travel.
Travellers from listed nations will also have to take a coronavirus test less than 72 hours before they travel to France, or be subject to a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport.
Affected countries include “Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Israel, Turkey, Algeria, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Serbia and the USA.”
The FCO website explains: “If you are entering France via any port or airport from any country from which you are required to present an international travel certificate, or have spent time in these countries in the last 30 days, you will be invited to provide a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure.
“Those unable to provide this test result will be subject to 14-day compulsory quarantine/self-isolation on arrival.
“Travellers will be offered the option to have a free RT-PCR test at the airport on arrival with quarantine being lifted for those whose results are negative.
“For travellers arriving from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Israel, Turkey, Algeria, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Serbia and the USA, the RT-PCR test will be obligatory from 25 July for travellers unable to provide a negative test taken less than 72 hours before departure.”
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The good news is, for UK visitors, they no longer face mandatory quarantine upon arrival in France, nor do travellers have to prove their visit is essential.
The FCO states: “Travellers arriving in France from the UK, European Area, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay are no longer required to self-isolate, to demonstrate their travel is essential or to hold an international travel certificate.”
Equally, France continues to be listed on all UK travel corridor lists, meaning holidaymakers no longer have to self-isolate on arrival back home either.
However, the Prime Minister has emphasised that the Government will not hesitate to remove countries where coronavirus rates suddenly rise.
“I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” he warned.
This point was proven over the weekend when the FCO reimposed travel restrictions on Spain and updated its travel advisory.
Holidaymakers returning from Spain must now enter into a 14-day quarantine period at home.
The FCO is advising against all nonessential travel to the nation.
An update on the website reads: “From 27 July, the FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.
“This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).
“The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time.
“Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
“If you are returning from Spain you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.”
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