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Deadly French school bus crash: Driver charged with manslaughter

The driver of a school bus that was hit by a train at a level crossing in southern France, resulting in the deaths of six children, was charged Wednesday with manslaughter, a prosecutor said.

Deadly French school bus crash: Driver charged with manslaughter
Photo: AFP
The bus driver, a 48-year-old mother who was seriously hurt in the collision, was “placed under judicial control and banned from driving,” said state prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux.
 
At least 20 others were injured when an express train smashed into the bus carrying children home from school in the southeastern village of Millas on December 14.
   
The driver told investigators that the safety barriers were open at the time of the crash.
 
READ ALSO:
Deadly French bus crash probe focusing on safety barriers
 
But Tarabeux on Wednesday said “material findings” in the investigation suggested the barriers were closed.
 
The national rail network SNCF said that the barriers had been functioning normally, though witness accounts varied.
   
Both the bus and train driver were given toxicology tests that came back clean.
   
The crash was the worst involving a school bus in France for 30 years.

TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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