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France imposes travel restrictions on four countries to keep out coronavirus variants

France imposes travel restrictions on four countries to keep out coronavirus variants
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France is preparing to impose new restrictions on travelers from four countries in an attempt to keep out more infectious COVID-19 variants.

The Associated Press reports France will be imposing new entry restrictions on those arriving from Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil.

Entry from those countries will be limited to French nationals and their family members, European Union citizens and others with a permanent home on France. Those who do enter will be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine with police checks to ensure compliance.

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Travelers must also show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 36 hours of boarding their flight or a negative antigen test taken less than 24 hours before their flight.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday that the number of countries on this list could grow, according to the AP.

Le Drian said on Saturday that the four countries “are the most dangerous in terms of the number of variants that exist and in the evolution of the pandemic in these countries.”

France has confirmed over 100,000 deaths due to coronavirus, the AP reports, among the European countries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The AP notes that the COVID-19 variant first identified in the U.K. now accounts for 80 percent of cases in France, while variants believed to have originated in Brazil and South Africa make up about 4 percent.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronThousands protest in French cities in fight against climate change Biden to record video message for 'Vax Live' concert EU leaders criticize Biden push to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents: Not a 'magic bullet' MORE said Sunday that some travel restrictions, particularly for vaccinated individuals, would begin to lift beginning in May, possibly allowing for a tourist season.

"We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May, which means that we will organize in the summertime with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens," Macron said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "So we are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say."