From Saturday, August 1st, France brought in tighter border controls which meant that everyone arriving from 16 'high risk' countries must be tested before being allowed into the country.
Passengers from Algeria, Brazil, India, Israel, Kuwait, Madagascar, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa and Turkey are allowed to get their test either before boarding or in the airport when they arrive.
However passengers from the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Panama or Bahrain must present a negative Covid-19 test result – taken within the previous 72 hours – at the airport when boarding and will not be allowed on the plane without one.
French authorities said the first day of the new rules had gone well, but three people who arrived into Lyon airport refused to take the test. They were then issued with an arrêté préfectoral de placement en quarantaine – an order for a compulsory quarantine.
People arriving from within the EU, the UK, the Schengen zone or the 12 countries on the EU's 'safe' list are not required to take a Covid-19 test before entering the country, although there is free testing at airports which people can undertake on a voluntary basis. Results are emailed out within 48 hours.
For passengers outside those areas only essential travel is allowed.
Commenting on the first day of mandatory testing, a French government spokesman said: “Waiting times at airport screening centres were short (less than 30 minutes) at all airports and passengers followed the authorities' requirements.