All travellers reaching France from outside the European Union, including, the UK, will have to present a negative Covid test less than 48 hours old, the government announced on Wednesday.
In addition, non-vaccinated travellers from within the EU will have to show a negative test less than 24 hours old, Henry Samuel reports from Paris.
The move is part of a bundle of measures aimed at tackling a new surge in infections as worries caused by the newly detected omicron variant loom.
Talking to journalists after a government meeting, spokesman Gabriel Attal said that decisions regarding intra-EU-travel would be coordinated by European leaders later this week.
Mr Gabriel also announced that France would allow flights from 10 southern African countries starting Saturday, but with “drastic” restrictions permitting only French and EU residents to disembark, along with diplomats and flight crews.
These travellers must have a Covid test upon arrival, with a negative result still requiring a seven-day quarantine, while a positive test will prompt a 10-day quarantine.
France is one of several countries worldwide that halted flights from southern Africa in recent days but the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that “blanket” travel bans risked doing more harm than good, by potentially dissuading countries from sharing data about the evolving virus.
Mr Attal said French authorities had discovered 13 suspected omicron cases so far that were under analysis for confirmation. “Let’s not be fooled or naive, there will very probably be cases on our territory in the coming hours or days,” he said.
There is currently no mention of the UK receiving special treatment.