France has tightened restrictions on unvaccinated visitors from several European countries as the continent sees a new wave of COVID-19 cases.
Unvaccinated travelers from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Greece must show a negative PCR test performed within 24 hours of their departure for France, according to the new rules announced late Friday. Previously, tests could be done within 48 hours.
The measure comes as European countries struggle to contain a new wave of blamed COVID-19 on low vaccination coverage and the relaxation of social and public health measures.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked citizens to get vaccinated on Saturday.
“These are very difficult weeks ahead of us,” Merkel said in a video speech. “I’m asking you: join us and try to convince relatives and friends as well [to get vaccinated]. ”
He also called on vaccinated Germans to get booster shots.
“If we stick together, if we think about protecting ourselves and taking care of others, we can save our country a lot this winter,” said the chancellor.
Austria is also witnessing a rapid spread of the coronavirus and announced On Friday a partial blockade in the Upper Austria region for the unvaccinated, with wider restrictions expected in the coming days.