France closes UK border amid virus variant

08 Jan 2021

Due to the findings of the mutations of the coronavirus, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that France’s border with the UK would remain shut "until further notice". Moreover, he stated that the country will speed up the vaccination process as the COVID-19 situation is expected to get worse in the aftermath of the festive season. 

France has become more “fragile,” noted the French PM on Thursday as he confirmed that border restrictions with Britain will remain in place "until further notice”. "It is out of the question that we lower our guard,” he said. 

Borders were closed on the 20th of December, following the news of the emergence of a highly contagious new variant of the disease in the UK. French citizens and truck drivers are only exempt to enter the borders, given that they had tested negative for the COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours. 

France had found 19 cases of the British variant, with two distressing groups in the greater Paris region and Brittany. 

In relation to the vaccination process, Castex said that the doses will be approved by regulators by late March. The government is targeting 1 million inoculations by the end of the month. 

"We want to go faster, the French Health Minister Olivier Véran affirmed.