France to keep internal EU borders open but all arrivals face Covid-19 tests

France to keep internal EU borders open but all arrivals face Covid-19 tests
AFP
The French PM confirmed on Thursday that the countries borders with other EU and Schengen area countries would remain open although anyone arriving in the country would be tested for Covid-19.

“Borders remain open inside the EU, but external borders will be closed,” PM Jean Castex said, repeating a similar statement made by the president on Wednesday night.

France closed its border to non-EU or Schengen area countries in March and those borders would remain closed.

Only certain people from outside the EU have been allowed to travel to France since March such as returning residents, students or those working in France.

France also kept its EU borders open during the first lockdown – which includes the border with the UK – but authorities did introduce tighten restrictions for those who could enter  the country and introduced obligatory “international travel certificate” for those travelling to France.

It was not clear whether the government planned to do so again. The website simply says the information is being updated in light the decision to reimpose lockdown. The Local has asked the Prime Minister's office to clarify.

There are no currently no restrictions on travel between the UK and France although travellers from France to the UK still face obligatory quarantine on their arrival.

The PM said anyone arriving in the country would have to undergo a Covid-19 test as has already been the case for certain travellers.

READ ALSO: Which countries impose quarantine and compulsory Covid-19 testing on arrivals from France?

“Anyone arriving in the country will have to prove a negative test carried out 72 hours in advance. And for those who do not have the result of a test, a test on arrival will be imposed,” he said.

French airports will be equipped with quick, on the spot, antigen tests in order to test all travellers systematically, Transport Secretary Jean-Baptiste Djebarri said earlier on Thursday. 

Nice airport would be the first to set up the new testing programme on Friday, October 30th, the first day of lockdown, and as of that point all passengers would be subject to a nasal swab test before departure and upon arrival.

The goal will be to roll this program out across the country. Antigen tests are similar to PCR tests in that they are done by a nasal swab, however they are quicker and results come back in less than a half-hour, no lab analysis needed.

READ ALSO: France to roll out 15 minute Covid tests in airports


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