France is to tighten restrictions on travel from Britain to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 that is causing record numbers of cases on the other side of the Channel, the government said Thursday.“We will put in place a system of controls drastically tighter than the one we have already,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM television.
“People (coming back) will have to register on an app and will have to self-isolate in a place of their choosing for seven days — controlled by the security forces — but this can be shortened to 48 hours if a negative test is carried out in France,” he said.
Attal said this policy was aimed at “tightening the net” to slow down the arrival of Omicron cases in France and give time for the French vaccination booster campaign to make more ground.
“Our strategy is to delay as much as we can the development of Omicron in our country and take advantage to push ahead with the booster drive,” he said.
Britain on Wednesday recorded a record 78,610 laboratory-confirmed Covid cases, with scientists predicting even higher rates as Omicron is believed to spread much faster than the currently dominant Delta variant.
The tight travel restrictions are also being imposed during what analysts see as a breakdown of trust between the British and French governments in the wake of Brexit over a host of issues from migrants to fishing.
French President Emmanuel Macron last week accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government of failing to keep its word on Brexit, saying “the problem with the British government is that it does not do what it says”.
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