France looking at ‘tougher’ rules for British travellers as new variant spreads

Indian variant in UK 'poses a problem' says France's Le Drian

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French government officials have warned that the rise in coronavirus cases linked to the new Indian variant in the UK “poses a problem” for travel.  French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian has announced tougher measures will be deployed ahead of plans to reopen France’s tourism industry to British visitors later this summer. Mr Le Drian said the French government was “vigilant” against the risk of the new virus strain entering from the UK.

“With one eye on the situation in the UK, French ministers are now considering stricter coronavirus restrictions for British visitors when tourism reopens this summer,” Euronews has reported.

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian has said: “The arrival of the Indian variant and the increase in cases of the Indian variant in the UK pose a problem.

“So we are vigilant about this and are in contact with the British authorities.

“It won’t be the red treatment if we have to do it. It will be an intermediate treatment.”

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The minister added: “But it is not excluded — this springs to mind because of British tourists — that we have health measures that are a bit stronger.”

It comes after a US epidemiologist warned the UK government over lifting lockdown as the Indian virus mutation grows more dominant.

Doctor Eric Feigl-Ding said: ” “The new faster transmission B16172, Indian variant, will likely dethrone the B117, Brazilian variant, and become dominant in the United Kingdom in a matter of days.

“The new Indian variant could pose unknown dangers.

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“Since the B16172, Indian variant was upgraded last week by both World Health Organisation and the UK, it has doubled in cases.”

The virus expert added: “The Indian variant is worrisome.

“That’s why the World Health Organisation and the UK have both upgraded it to a variant of concern warning level.”

Doctor Feigl-Ding pointed to the surge in hospitalisations that have occurred in Bolton, an Indian variant hotspot.

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Doctor Feigl-Ding said the case number “has increased, rising by 20 percent in 24 hours”.

He added: “A hospital in Bolton is opening an extra ward for coronavirus, as a previous ward is now full.

“Bolton has been hit by the B16172 Indian variant and cases are rising fast in children and young adults.”

Under the current rule, Britons travelling over the Channel demonstrate a negative PCR result from a test taken less than 72 hours before departure.

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