France starts testing travelers from 16 nations for virus

Travelers, wearing protective face masks, line up at the Orly Airport, south of Paris on August 1, 2020 during a major weekend of the French summer holidays. (AFP)
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Updated 01 August 2020

France starts testing travelers from 16 nations for virus

  • France is not permitting general travel to and from the 16 countries, which include the United States and Brazil
  • The French government has so far ruled out imposing another nationwide lockdown after the one that brought the country to a standstill for nearly two months between March and May

PARIS: Travelers entering France from 16 countries where the coronavirus is circulating widely are having to undergo virus tests upon arrival at French airports and ports.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last month that the tests would be required starting Aug. 1 for the arriving passengers France is allowing in from the listed countries unless they present proof of a negative test done within 72 hours of their departure.
Those who test positive in France as of Saturday must quarantine for 14 days.
France is not permitting general travel to and from the 16 countries, which include the United States and Brazil. The testing requirement therefore only applies to people entering under limited circumstances — “French citizens who live in these countries or citizens of these countries with an established residence in France,” Castex has said.
Daniel Court was tested at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport after coming in from the French Riviera city of Nice. He acknowledged not loving the experience.
“It’s very fast, but I have to say that it’s not very pleasant. It is surprising. But we have to do it,” Court said.
Another passenger who got tested after landing at Paris’ main airport, Nadia Vusik of Belarus, said she thought the new policy made sense.
“It is definitely necessary, and I am happy that in France it is possible to do right here. It’s very convenient.”
Health authorities have said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has jumped on the French mainland in recent weeks. The government previously made mask-wearing mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
The French government has so far ruled out imposing another nationwide lockdown after the one that brought the country to a standstill for nearly two months between March and May.


At least 8 soldiers dead in blast outside Somali army base

Updated 08 August 2020

At least 8 soldiers dead in blast outside Somali army base

  • The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab extremist group often targets military sites in Mogadishu

NAIROBI, Kenya: A Somali police officer says at least eight soldiers are dead and more than 14 others wounded after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of a military base in Somalia’s capital.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the toll is expected to rise.
Police Col. Ahmed Muse says the bomber struck the 12th April Army Brigade base near the newly reopened sports stadium in Warta-Nabadda district.
Witnesses say ambulance sirens can be heard as police cordon off the scene. Huge clouds of smoke are billowing.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab extremist group often targets military sites in Mogadishu.