France has banned all but essential travel from outside the European Union and tightened testing requirements for travelers from within the EU, in efforts to stop the spread of new coronavirus variants and avoid a third lockdown.
Effective as of yesterday (Sunday), the measures will be in place for 15 days.
The new border restrictions also affect the UK that is no longer in the EU. However, UK State Secretary for Transport Grant Shapps clarified on Twitter that hauliers transporting goods to or from the UK would not be affected.
“I can confirm that this does NOT apply to hauliers, so trade will continue to flow smoothly,” he said.
Travelers arriving from EU countries to France are still required to produce a negative Covid-19 test.
Following an emergency government meeting at the presidential palace on Friday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned that great risk is imminent due to the new coronavirus variants.
Therefore, France has also closed large shopping centers and increased police checks for violations in efforts to prevent a third national lockdown.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandmic, France has reported a total of 3,126,351 confirmed cases and 75,466 deaths.
Portugal and Bulgaria tighten travel restrictions
Meanwhile, Portugal has also tightened its coronavirus lockdown and banned all non-essential travel abroad, as well as flights to and from Brazil. The measures are in effect since Sunday, and for 15 days.
Portugal has also banned arrivals from the UK since last week.
In addition, Bulgaria has updated its entry and quarantine requirements through to April 30, according to which all travelers are banned from entering the country with some exceptions including citizens of Bulgaria and EU member-states.