France adds four more countries to ‘red list’ in a blow to travellers

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An Electric boat, the Sea Bubbles, aka "flying taxi" cruises on the river Seine with the Eiffel Tower in background during a test in Paris, on September 18, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

More travellers arriving in France will be the subject of strict police-enforced 10-day quarantines after four more countries were placed on the high risk list.

The Prime Minister’s office on Friday announced that Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uraguay have been added to the ‘red list’, with enforcement in place from Sunday, May 16th.

The 10-day self-isolation rule already applies to travellers from Turkey, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Brazil, India, Chile, South Africa and Argentina.

The requirements are also in place for anyone arriving from the French overseas département of French Guiana, which borders Brazil, the official announcement in the Journal Officiel clarified.

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To date, some 7,000 travellers from affected countries have been obliged to quarantine.

Of those, 4,800 are still in isolation, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said, while 5,300 checks have been carried out on arrivals – and 280 fines of between €1,000 and €1,500 have been issued.

The following rules apply to all travellers aged 11 and over from countries on France’s ‘red’ list:

Anyone travelling from these places must get either a PCR test 36 hours before travel OR a PCR test 72 hours before travel followed by a rapid-result antigen test 24 hours before travel

10-day quarantine can be at an address of the traveller’s choice, either at a home or a hotel (at their own cost)

Travellers must provide proof of their quarantine address when boarding (either proof of their home address or a hotel reservation) and airlines will be allowed to refuse boarding as necessary.

Travellers must then take another test on arrival in France, and confirm to border guards that they will observe the 10-day quarantine. Quarantine address proofs will be checked again at the border.

Police will then check the address provided during the 10 days to ensure the quarantine is being enforced.

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Travellers will also be contacted by health authorities to remind them of the rules and offer advice. Support will be available if needed for essential errands. 

Essential errands are permitted between 10am and 12 noon, and anyone not at the address provided outside those hours will be deemed in breach of quarantine and fined between €1,000 to €1,500.

Rules for other countries

All arrivals from countries outside the EU (including the UK) are asked to observe a seven-day quarantine and then take a test on day seven.

Arrivals from within the EU do not need to quarantine in France but are required to present a negative PCR test that is less than 72 hours old. Some groups are exempt from the testing requirement including cross-border workers.

Source: The Local