France tightens border restrictions to curb spread of Covid-19 variants
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France has begun imposing tough new border restrictions, banning all but essential travel from outside the EU and tightening Covid-19 testing requirements on travellers from within the 27-nation bloc.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said that from Sunday "any entry into France and any exit from our territory to or from a country outside the European Union will be prohibited" – barring exceptional reasons, such as the death of a loved one.
In addition, arrivals from inside the European Union are now required to present a negative PCR test.
The ban on travel does not apply to cross-border workers, truck drivers, health workers and diplomats, government officials have said.
The new restrictions are part of efforts to contain the spread of new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus, which already account for more than 10% of infections nationwide.
The government has ordered all non-food shopping centres closed and maintained a 6pm curfew, but has so far resisted calls for another lockdown.
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