France slaps quarantine on arrivals from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, S. Africa
The office of French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the new measures as France continues to battle a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The French government is particularly worried about the highly contagious P1 Covid-19 variant first identified in Brazil.
Travellers from Argentina, Chile and South Africa will be subject to a mandatory quarantine that will be brought in over the coming days, fully enforced from next weekend.
French authorities will verify before and after travel to make sure that travellers from those countries have sufficient measures in place to isolate.
Travellers who are founded to have broken those rules could be hit by fines and French police will be carrying out checks to make sure the quarantine is fully respected.
As with other travellers, negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests will be required, undertaken 36 hours before boarding planes.
There is currently a suspension on flights from Brazil to France. However, authorities are set to give flights from Brazil the green light on Saturday only for travellers holding European Union passports. They too will be subject to the new quarantine regulations.
Travellers from French Guiana, an overseas department which has high levels of Covid-19, will also be hit by a quarantine.
France is tightening restrictions in the fight against Covid-19 as it battles a third wave of the deadly coronavirus. The authorities recently restricted travel within the country and stepped up lockdown measures as a third wave of the pandemic sweeps across the country.
Health authorities said on Saturday that more than 35,000 new cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed and the country's healthcare system is at breaking point. Some 12.4 million people in France have now received at least one dose of a vaccine.