Paris and French Riviera labelled coronavirus ‘risk zones’ by Germany

Tourists travelling from the greater Paris and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur regions to Germany must take a Covid-19 test and quarantine upon their return, the German foreign ministry stated on Monday.

Paris and French Riviera labelled coronavirus 'risk zones' by Germany
Travellers who return from the Paris or Provence regions must subject to a Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Photo: AFP

The greater Paris region of Île-de-France and the southern Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, which includes tourist hubs on the French Riviera, were added to the German foreign ministry's list of 'risk areas' late on Monday evening.

All travel to these areas should be avoided unless the journey is “indispensable,” according to the German foreign ministry.

Travellers who return from these areas must undergo a Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

EXPLAINED: Which countries are quarantining travellers from France? 

The travel advice for any country on the German list of risk areas states that: “Before embarking on your journey, please check whether you have spent time in one of these areas in the last 14 days before entering Germany.

“Should this be the case, you must expect to be subject to mandatory testing and quarantine.”

France has seen a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases over the past weeks, with the daily tally reaching a new post-lockdown record several days in a row last week before peaking at nearly 5,000 new cases in 24 hours on Sunday. 

On Monday, the French public health agency confirmed 1,955 new cases, 15 new deaths, and 18 new clusters under investigation over the past 24 hours. 

MAP: Where in France are Covid-19 cases rising?

France has ramped up its national testing capacities over the past months, reaching a level of more than 635,000 tests per week according to the latest public data (up from 200,000 per week in June).

However health authorities say the rise in cases cannot solely be attributed to increased testing, as the positive testing rate (number of positive cases per 100,000) has risen to 3.6 percent.

On August 15th the UK enforced a mandatory 14-quarantine for all travellers from France, a decision that France has said it will respond to 'in the coming days'.

The rapid surge in the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases over the past weeks in France has seen the French government tighten health rules to curb the spread.

As of September 1st, masks will be compulsory both in the workplace and in schools for children aged above 11 and and teachers at all times.

READ ALSO: These are France's new rules on masks in workplaces


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‘Book now’ – rental cars set to be scare and expensive in France this summer

Thinking about a French road trip this summer? You'll want to plan in advance, as hire cars are getting harder and harder to find and prices are skyrocketing.

'Book now' - rental cars set to be scare and expensive in France this summer

With life returning to near-normal, pre-Covid conditions, tourism is booming. France is set to be a popular holiday destination this summer – but renting a vehicle could cost you a lot of money. 

Why the price hike?

The quick answer is that demand is high.

At the Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, Michel Reillat, the CEO of rental company Loca’Malin told FranceInfo that “In July and August, there is no possibility of renting cars, since they are all booked.”

He explained that “reservations began very early, from February, with 30 to 40 percent of the cars already rented for the summer.” Reillat said he ordered about fifty additional cars, but even if this will be insufficient to meet the high demand.

However, rising demand is not the only answer.

During the pandemic, several rental companies sold large portions of their stock (up to 40 percent in some cases) to compensate for the loss brought on by Covid-19. This means that many rental companies are currently operating with shortages.

Are prices high everywhere?

Prices have seen the highest increases in places like the Basque coast, the South-West, and Corsica. Biarritz, for instance, where a weekly car rental is now on average €505 per week, has seen its average rates increase by 96 percent, according to car rental comparison website Carigami. 

The website published a list ranking cities based on affordability for car rentals, and it also allows you to compare which parts of the country are the cheapest for renting cars.

Where can I get affordable prices?

Based on the Carigami list, heading North is your best bet to avoid breaking the bank. A week’s rental in Lille will cost you €292 on average, according to the site. Though this still represents an increase from last year, it’s only 12.7 percent (small in comparison to Biarritz).

Two other cities that might allow you to book a vehicle for less than €300 a week are Clermont-Ferrand and Mulhouse.

If you want to go further south, Valence is a good compromise, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille are better options than Nice (which is averaging at €496 per week). 

Finally, the other cities listed for having “reasonable” pricing are Rennes, Brest, Lyon and Nantes. Even so these cities, Brest in particular, have still seen significant increases from years past.

The other key thing is not to leave it to the last minute, as prices will only rise.