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COVID-19

US advises against travel to France over Covid-19 surge

The US has advised its citizens against travelling to France, because of the recent surge in Covid-19 infections and concerns over the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Delta Airline passengers stand near a departures board at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris
Photo: Bertrand Guay / AFP

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level four health notice for France on Monday, December 6th, saying that “in view of the current situation in France, even fully vaccinated travellers can risk being infected and spreading variants of the Covid”.

A level 4 notice means that a country is reporting more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the last 28 days and is deemed to present a ‘very high’ Covid risk. Official US advice is to avoid travel to countries on the level 4 list.

Previously, France was at level 3 – indicating a ‘high’ Covid risk, but there was no official advice against travel.

As well as France, Portugal, Cyprus, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Jordan, Mali, Fiji and Tanzania were added to the list of 83 countries to which US officials advise avoiding travel.

READ ALSO: What are the Covid travel rules between France and the US?

The list already includes Poland, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Guernsey, Iceland and Czech Republic.

Americans are not banned from visiting a country under a level 4 travel advisory notice, but are urged to avoid unnecessary travel, and to make sure that they are fully vaccinated if they must make the trip.

The advisory came on the same day new rules for Europeans travelling to the US came into effect. As of Monday, travelling from France to the US, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.

READ ALSO Travellers from Europe to US face tougher Covid test restrictions 

Following a high-level government meeting on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced new measures to control the spread of Covid-19 in the lead-up to Christmas.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Red summer traffic alert on roads across France this weekend

Last weekend was officially the worst of the summer holiday period on France’s roads - but this weekend is forecast to be almost as busy, with numerous red traffic warnings on place.

Red summer traffic alert on roads across France this weekend

The country’s roads monitor Bison Futé has rated travel on Saturday as ‘very difficult’ (red) across most of the country in both directions of travel, rising to ‘extremely difficult’ (black) in the south east of the country.

While traffic levels on Friday and Sunday are less problematic, Bison Futé expects some issues, labelling travel ‘difficult’ (yellow) on both days.

Specifically, the watchdog advises the following on Friday:

Image: Bison Futé

Outward journeys

  • leave or cross the Île-de-France before 12noon;
  • avoid the A13 between Paris and Rouen, from 4pm to 8pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Orleans and Tours, from 12pm to 8pm, and around Bordeaux from 4pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A8 between Aix-en-Provence and Nice, from 3pm to 8pm;
  • avoid the A20 between Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde, from 3pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse, from 3pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne, from 6pm to 8pm.

Return journeys

  • avoid the A13 between Rouen and Paris, from 5pm to 7pm;
  • avoid the A63 between Bayonne and Bordeaux from 5pm to 8pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse from 5pm to 8pm;
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in the direction of France from 3pm to 7pm (waiting time greater than 1 hour).

On Saturday, Bison Futé recommends:

Image: Bison Futé

Outward journeys

  • leave or cross the Île-de-France after 12noon;
  • avoid the A13 between Paris and Rouen from 12am to 5pm, and between Rouen and Caen from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A11 between Paris and Le Mans from 11am to 4pm;
  • avoid the A6 between Beaune and Lyon from 9am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Salon-de-Provence and Marseille from 1pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand from 9am to 12pm;
  • avoid the A75 between Clermont-Ferrand and Montpellier from 11am to 1pm.

Return journeys

  • return to or cross the Ile-de-France before 2pm;
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 3pm to 5pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Bordeaux and Poitiers from 12pm to 4pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Marseille and Salon-de-Provence from 9am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A75 between Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand from 12h to 14h;
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in direction of France from 3pm to 7pm (wait more than 1 hour).

And, on Sunday:

Image: Bison Futé

Outward journeys

  • Avoid using the Fleury tollgate on the A6 in the direction of Provence from 9am to 12pm;
  • Avoid the A6 between Beaune and Lyon from 10am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A8 between Salon-de-Provence and Marseille from 3pm to 10pm;
  • avoid the A20 between Limoges and Brives-la-Gaillarde from 3pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Orleans and Clermont-Ferrand from 11am to 3pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 16h to 21h.

Return journeys

  • return to or cross the Île-de-France before 2pm,
  • avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence from 10am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Orléans from 11am to 3pm.

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