Almost all British travellers will be banned from entering France from Saturday in an effort to stop the spread of Omicron.
Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said that “even more drastic” measures were required to ensure that travellers did not bring in the virus from the UK.
People will be able to visit France only if they qualify for a limited number of reasons.
“We are going to limit the reasons which allow people to come from the United Kingdom to France,” Attal said.
“[Only] French citizens, French residents and their families will be allowed. Everything involving tourism or business trips for people who are not French or European will be limited.”
Tests and quarantine
A test taken less than 24 hours before arrival will be required, and travellers will be forced to self-isolate with police supervision for a week.
“The isolation can be lifted within 24 hours if a negative test, carried out in France, is presented,” Attal said.
Meanwhile Professor Chris Whitty’s plea for people to consider cutting back socialising around Christmas due to the threat from the Omicron variant has prompted fresh calls for support to the hospitality sector.
Experts called for clearer messaging as Boris Johnson stopped short of matching England’s chief medical officer’s warning, instead urging people to “think carefully” before attending celebrations.
The variant is surging across the UK, with daily confirmed Covid-19 cases reaching a record high of 78,610 new cases and Professor Whitty warning “records will be broken a lot over the next few weeks”.
Businesses warned of a fresh threat hitting their existence as people weigh up whether to risk nights out or cancel to improve the chances of spending Christmas with their families.
One scientific adviser said it was possible one million people could be isolating on Christmas Day, with the 10-day isolation period for positive tests now covering December 25.
Professor Whitty told the public “don’t mix with people you don’t have to” at events that are not among the most important to them.
“I really think people should be prioritising those things – and only those things – that really matter to them,” he told a Downing Street press conference.
“Because otherwise the risk of someone getting infected at something that doesn’t really matter to them and then not being able to do the things that matter to them obviously goes up.”