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French PM says Covid tests for travellers from China 'will continue'

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
French PM says Covid tests for travellers from China 'will continue'
Passengers of a flight from China wait in a line for checking their COVID-19 vaccination documents after arriving at the Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday that Covid-19 tests for travellers arriving from China would continue despite protests from Beijing.

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"I think we're performing our duty in asking for tests," Borne told franceinfo radio when asked about China's reaction, before adding: "We will continue to do it."

"We're doing it while respecting the rules of the World Health Organisation and we will continue to do it," she added.

Since Sunday, travellers from China arriving in France must wear a mask and be prepared to submit to a test on arrival, which are being done at random.

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From Thursday, all travellers will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test undertaken less than 48 hours before their flight.

French authorities have described the testing regime as a means of tracking variants that might be spreading in China since the country lifted its strict Covid-19 restrictions.

"Our objective -- and all the scientists agree on this point -- is to follow the evolution of the virus and that's what we've been doing since Sunday," Borne said.

European nations are seeking to coordinate their responses, with France, Italy and Britain testing arrivals while other states such as Germany have no restrictions.

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