Macron says France is the 'most attractive country' in Europe
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France currently has the fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases of any country in the world, behind the USA, India and Brazil. Medical experts have now voiced concerns about a new wave of the virus which could hit the country by September or October, prompting some regions to delay the planned easing of national restrictions.
A Government adviser has warned the country is likely to have a fourth wave of the virus in September or October.
French scientific adviser Professor Jean-François Delfraissy said the latest surge in cases was driven by the rise in Delta variant cases.
The variant currently accounts for about 20 percent of new cases in France and is increasingly becoming “progressively dominant” according to the country’s Health Minister Olivier Veran broadcaster France Info.
Professor Delfraissy told France Info radio: “I think we will have a fourth wave, but it will be much more moderate than the previous three waves because the level of vaccinations is different compared to before.”
The country has only vaccinated around 32 percent of its population so far, with much of Europe trailing behind the UK in terms of vaccinations.
Many European countries are desperately trying to vaccinate people as quickly as possible in light of the damaging wave of Covid seen in countries like the UK as a result of the Delta variant.
French Government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced the easing of national restrictions would be delayed until July 6.
He said: “We do not want to take the risk of having a re-start of the epidemic.”
Mr Attal added: “We have all the cards in hand to avoid a fourth wave of the epidemic.”
Epidemiologist Professor Arnaud Fontanet said efforts are being undertaken to “make sure that this fourth wave does not add pressure on hospitals and lead to severe complications and deaths” while asserting the importance of vaccinations.
Professor Fontanet said: “The Delta variant is also, like the English variant, more likely to cause severe forms. So infected people are more at risk to be hospitalised.”
He added a fourth wave is expected to hit the country in September or October.
The scientist said he expects the Delta variant to account for “80 to 90 percent of contaminations” by the end of August.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also said it expected the Delta variant to represent 90 percent of all cases in the EU by the end of August.
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The Minister in charge of elderly care Brigitte Bourguignon said the Government was doubling the vaccine doses sent to the southwest Landes region in response to rising rates of new cases.
The Landes region had a Covid incidence rate of 48 per 100,000 people, which is below the alert threshold of 50 – but this is also well above the national average of 19.
She said letters have been sent to all nursing homes in France urging staff to get vaccinated as a “moral imperative”.
Nursing home employees who are not vaccinated may face mandatory vaccinations if they do not comply with this call to arms by September.
What are the travel rules for UK-France travel?
Foreign travel is legal under the British traffic light system.
However, the UK Government has said you should not holiday in amber and red list countries for leisure.
France is currently on the UK’s amber list which means if you are not fully vaccinated you will only be permitted entry for essential reasons, such as if you have French residency, and if you agree to a period of seven days’ self-isolation.
Those who are fully vaccinated can enter if they provide proof of their vaccination status, proof of a negative PCR test and complete a sworn statement.
Anyone aged under-18 who is travelling with fully-vaccinated adults do not need to self-isolate or provide an essential reason for travel.
When in France, face coverings are not currently in outdoor public spaces, including public gatherings, queues, markets and stadiums.
Masks are still required in enclosed public spaces, for all except those aged 10 and under.
Overnight curfews have ended and indoor hospitality has now reopened for six per table.
Retail, cultural and sports venues are open with capacity restrictions and safety measures and no outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
Tourist accommodation, including camping and caravan sites, can open.
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