Sunday, December 20, the French executive decided to interrupt for 48 hours air and rail travel with the UK. This measure concerns the entire movement of people from the British island, “including those related to the transport of goods, by road, air, sea or rail,” government spokesman said after a Defense Council.
“Only shipping unaccompanied will be allowed. The flow of people or transport to the UK is not affected, “the government specified. The French authorities explained that this mutation of the virus does not seem to” lead, at this stage of knowledge, increased severity or resistance to the vaccine”
This travel restriction for 48 hours you will have to “open a coordination time between the member states of the European Union, in order to define a common doctrine on the regulation and control of UK flows”. It will also aim to” prepare operationally a safe reopening flows from the UK from 22 December, and that will be based on a mandatory test device at departure”.
“We will pay special attention to the specific situation of French citizens who have planned to return to France to spend the holidays with their families. Now, we ask you to make arrangements to perform a PCR test in the next few days,” said government spokesman.
A new highly infectious strain?
Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Ursula Von der Leyen and Charles Michel exchanged this weekend to discuss the new coronavirus strain circulating in Britain which led several European countries to suspend their flights. This new variant would be more easily transmitted and therefore more dangerous than the previous ones, according to the British government.
But “it is not clearly established at this stage that the so-called ‘rapid’ spread of this mutation in the United Kingdom would be linked to an intrinsic property of this virus”, notes the French government. “The fact that this strain is more contagious has not been demonstrated at this stage, ” said government spokesman.
The services of the French Prime Minister indicated that “in the context of the acceleration of the epidemic in recent days in the United Kingdom, the British health authorities have notified the World Health Organization of the information that this mutation could be more contagious than the other variants of the SARS-CoV-2”, identified at more than 12,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The global health agency also called on its members in Europe to “strengthen your controls” due to the new coronavirus variant. As a precaution, Holland, Germany, Belgium and Italy announced suspension of flights and trains with the United Kingdom.