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Macron tells the French: Happy Christmas and do a Covid test

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Macron tells the French: Happy Christmas and do a Covid test
France's President Emmanuel Macron walks to welcome Rwanda's President Paul Kagame upon his arrival for a lunch focused on the preparation of the summit between the European Union and the African Union at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on December 20, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

French president Emmanuel Macron's festive greeting to the nation wishes everyone a happy Christmas - with a preventative Covid test.

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The French government has already ruled out imposing extra restrictions over Christmas - although New Year is still up for discussion.

But as Covid infection rates - particularly of the highly contagious Omicron strain - continue to rise, the president has also called on the French to be careful over the festive period.

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His festive message begins by wishing everyone happy holidays, and then goes on: "To those who will have the joy of being with their family for Christmas: barrier gestures, a preventive test to reassure and in case of symptoms - isolate and alert."

He added his thanks to the healthcare workers and others who will be working over the holidays.

There are no restrictions on gatherings or travel within France this Christmas, but official government advice is to keep gatherings small and employ preventative measures including washing hands and ventilating rooms.

Those planning to travel or meet up with family and friends are also advised to take a test in advance, even if they have no symptoms.

EXPLAINED: The health rules and official advice in France this Christmas

Macron himself is likely to have a better time this year, as last Christmas he was ill with Covid.

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