Dec 16, 2021 - World

France to restrict travel from Britain

The French capital sees tourists again in its streets and around tourist monuments on June 5, 2021 In Paris, France.
Photo: Thierry Thorel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

France on Thursday announced restrictions on travel from Britain as the highly infectious Omicron variant spreads rapidly in European countries, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The ban on nonessential travel, set to take place midnight on Friday, comes as the Omicron variant spreads quickly across the world, including among vaccinated people, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

The big picture: The French government released a statement Thursday advising travelers to postpone their plans if they're heading to or from Britain.

  • The French government will only allow certain categories of travelers, such as truck drivers, between the two countries. Any person arriving from Britain is required to self-quarantine, per Reuters.
  • The U.K. saw a record high of 78,144 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. France recorded 65,714 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
  • On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Omicron is expected to be the dominant COVID-19 variant in Europe by mid-January.

What they're saying: "Our goal is to limit as much as possible the spread of Omicron across our territory," French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said, per Reuters.

  • "Tourism and business travel for people who are not French nationals or Europeans, people who are not French residents, will be limited," Attal said.
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