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HEALTH

Paris airports step up temperature checks on passengers

Thermal cameras at Paris' airports are screening travellers' temperatures upon arrival. What happens if you show signs of a fever?

Paris airports step up temperature checks on passengers
A thermal camera used to screen passengers' temperatures at the Charles de Gaulle international airport. Photo: AFP

Charles-de-Gaulles and Orly in Paris – the main French airports for international travel – have installed thermal cameras in their airports to check that none of the passengers arriving have abnormally high body temperatures.

The measure was set up as part of France's strategy to detect and isolate new coronavirus cases, especially as international travel resumes.

Set up in the airports' luggage areas, the cameras are not easily visible to the travellers and screen passengers arriving on both domestic and international flights. 

“If your temperature is above 38C, you will be invited to proceed to a second temperature check with a contact-less thermometer,” the group Paris Aeroport wrote in an online statement.

If the second test confirms that a passenger's temperature to be higher than 38C, “we will suggest you organise a medical visit with a doctor who will, if required, offer you to be tested with a COVID-19 PCR test”, the statement said.

Travel to France: The health rules and guidelines tourists should know about

 

An Air France employee checks the body temparture of passengers boarding an Air France flight at the Charles de Gaulle Airport north of Paris. Photo: AFP

There is no indication as to what happen if a person with a proved temperature above 38C declines the coronavirus test, but they could potentially be barred from exiting the airport.

The French former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in June that the goal was to detect and isolate “any person coming into the national territory presenting symptoms of a Covid-19 infection during health controls.”

Anyone whose PCR test – a Q-tip test to check if a person has the coronavirus – comes back positive will be placed in a mandatory 14-day isolation (quatorzaine, in French).

They will be offered a place to stay during this isolation period by French health authorities.

 

 

Anyone leaving France could also get their temperatures checked on some flights – especially on Air France flights, according to French daily Le Parisien.

Anyone showing a temperature above 38C can be refused to board the plane.

The procedure was set in place when France began to loosen up its strict, nationwide confinement set in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Getting a temperature check upon arrival is just one out of several health rules tourists in France must follow at the moment, alongside respecting the government's general advice on hygienic routines – coughing and sneezing in your elbow and washing hands often – and wearing a mask in several public spaces.

Travellers without coronavirus symptoms are advised but not required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in France.

Language

Caméras thermiques – thermal cameras

Quatorzaine – 14-day quarantine

Dépistage – testing

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COVID-19

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body outlined how Covid-19 rules changed starting on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules relaxed in France as the country brought an end to compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes took effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 would return to normal starting February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 now also have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that began at the start of February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.

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