French PM says Covid tests for travellers from China 'will continue'

Published on Jan 03, 2023 03:36 PM IST

Since Sunday, travellers from China arriving in France must wear a mask and be prepared to submit to a test on arrival, which are being done at random.

Travellers walk with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport.(Reuters)
Travellers walk with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport.(Reuters)

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Tuesday that Covid-19 tests for travellers arriving from China would continue despite protests from Beijing.

"I think we're performing our duty in protecting French people by asking for tests," Borne told franceinfo radio when asked about China's reaction.

"We're doing it while respecting the rules of the World Health Organisation and we will continue to do it," she added.

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From Thursday, all travellers will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test undertaken less than 48 hours before their flight.

French authorities have described the testing regime as a means of tracking variants that might be spreading in China since the country lifted its strict Covid-19 restrictions.

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"Our objective -- and all the scientists agree on this point -- is to follow the evolution of the virus and that's what we've been doing since Sunday," Borne said.

European nations are seeking to coordinate their responses, with France, Italy and Britain testing arrivals while other states such as Germany have no restrictions.

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