France announced on Wednesday that planes from eleven southern African nations will be allowed in starting Saturday, but only French and EU residents, diplomats, and flight crews will be allowed to disembark.
After a cabinet meeting, government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced that these travellers must have a Covid test upon arrival, with a negative result needing a seven-day quarantine and a positive result requiring a 10-day quarantine.
After South Africa reported the more dangerous Omicron form of coronavirus, various nations around the world have halted flights from southern Africa in recent days.
However, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that “blanket” travel bans could cause more harm than good by discouraging countries from sharing viral data.
According to Attal, French officials have uncovered 13 possible Omicron instances thus far, which are being investigated for confirmation.
“Let’s not be deceived or foolish,” he continued, “there will most likely be cases on our turf in the coming hours or days.”
In an effort to stem the spread of the more contagious Omicron version, Attal also stated that any travellers entering from outside the European Union would be required to provide a negative Covid test that was less than 48 hours old.
Non-vaccinated travellers from the EU will also need to demonstrate a negative test that is less than 24 hours old.