U.K. COVID variant makes up 80% of France 's cases as country poised to enter 'peak' of third wave
France is approaching a peak in the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increasing presence of virus variant strains in the country, a government spokesman said Wednesday."The epidemic is decreasing twice as slow as in November, especially due to the English variant," spokesman Gabriel Attal said."The pressure on hospitals is extremely strong."
An English variant is responsible for about 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in France, according to Health Minister Olivier Veran. The variants that were first seen in Brazil and South Africa make up less than 4 percent of French infections. France announced Wednesday that it will impose entry restrictions on travelers coming from India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and South Africa starting Saturday.
In a statement, the office of French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the restrictions were due to the"uncontrolled spread of the virus in certain countries" and the police would carry out checks to ensure travelers comply with the new quarantine restrictions and dines for noncompliance will be increased. headtopics.com
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.France announced new entry restrictions for travelers from several countries amid the rising presence of COVID-19 variants in the country. In the photo, French police control the travel certificates of a passenger arriving at the Mulhouse main train station, on April 9, 2021, as the French government put in place a new lockdown to try to curb the spread of COVID-19.
SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty ImagesAttal also confirmed that France will lift its ban on domestic travel as planned on May 3 but will maintain its nighttime curfew, now in place from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Nonessential shops, closed since the partial lockdown of the country at the beginning of April, won't reopen before mid-May, he said.
France suspended all flights from Brazil earlier this month in an effort to curb the spread of a new COVID-19 variant found there. The temporary measure is to be replaced Saturday by tight travel restrictions regarding a list of five countries, including a mandatory 10-day quarantine with police checks to ensure people arriving in France observe the requirement.
France is also requiring more stringent testing for the coronavirus on travelers from these countries who will need to pass a mandatory antigen test upon their arrival, in addition to a pre-boarding PCR test.Attal said Wednesday that daily numbers of new infections are tending to decrease in the country—yet they still reach more than 30,000 people per day on average. With almost 6,000 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and hospitals close to capacity, Attal said France might be close to reaching a"peak." headtopics.com
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