French Prime Minister Jean Castex has declared a suspension of travel from seven African countries due to detecting a new worrying COVID-19 variant.
Travelers from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini will no longer be allowed to enter France for a minimum period of 48 hours, which may get extended. This ban applies to any and all travelers, regardless of their vaccination status.
According to a statement, Jean Castex read, the “B1.1.259 variant ]has been] detected in several southern African countries” and as such the French authorities decided that “the principle of maximum precaution must apply.”
For travelers who visited one of the aforementioned African countries in the last 14 days must both inform authorities as well as undergo a PCR or rapid antigen test at the earliest moment possible. And for those who have pending trips to the seven African countries, the French Government is urging all to postpone their travel plans.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that South Africa has reported 23,121 new infection cases in the last seven days, Botswana with 523, Mozambique with 46, Zimbabwe with 190, Namibia with 57, Eswatini with 22 and Lesotho with 16.
Current regulations in France require all those who are entering the country to hold one of the certificates that fall under the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. And for those whose countries’ certificates do not connect to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, must convert their pass.
Furthermore, to be allowed access to certain indoor spaces and activities, everyone must present a vaccination or recovery certificate. This Health Pass requirement has been extended until mid-2022.