France: Country looks to reduce isolation period despite spike in coronavirus cases

France’s health minister Olivier Véran announced over the weekend that he wished to reduce the current self-isolation period that is in place for those suffering with coronavirus. Mr Véran told BFMTV: “This famous two-week quarantine is doubtless too long. “I have asked scientific authorities to advise whether we can’t reduce it.”

According to French publication, Le Journal du Dimanche, France’s scientific council has given the new isolation period the green light.

Epidemiologist at the institute of global health in Geneva Professor Antoine Flahault told the publication that people are actually most contagious during the beginning of the illness.

He said: “Data shows today that most contagions occur in the window of the first five days after symptoms appear.

“If we could already respect these five days, we would no doubt let a few people still carrying the disease through, but (these would) apparently not be very contagious.”

The government believes that if the isolation period is shortened then people are more likely to respect the isolation period.

The epidemiologist said that five to seven days is a practical compromise.

Prof Fontanet also said that if cases continue to rise in France then the situation will be “critical” in the winter.

He implored authorities in the country to act now and reinforce social distancing to avoid harsher measures in the future.

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France was removed from the UK’s travel corridor list earlier this summer after the country recorded a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all but essential travel to France.

This includes the island of Corsica, off the country’s south coast.

The country has experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

Many parts of the country have introduced special measures to help tackle the localised outbreaks.

Britons returning to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return from France.

France recorded a further 7,071 new cases on Sunday evening.

There were around 8,500 new cases on Saturday and almost 9,000 new cases on Friday.

The country has recorded a total of 324,777 cases of COVID-19 and 30,724 deaths from the disease.

Travellers arriving in France from the UK are no longer required to self-isolate.

Arrivals by sea or air have to complete a “sworn statement” to say they are not suffering from symptoms of COVID-19.

However, arrivals from other countries may be subject to compulsory or voluntary quarantine for 14 days on arrival unless they have a negative RT-PCT test taken in the 72 hours before their arrival.

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