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Jan. 8, 2021, 4:11 p.m. EST

Travel restrictions tighten further in Europe as COVID-19 is spreading faster

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By Pierre Briançon

England will require testing from all inbound travelers as France has warned that its restrictions on travelers from the U.K. will remain in place for the foreseeable future. This comes as a U.K. minister raised doubt about the efficacy of vaccines against the new, potent South African variant of the virus.

Read: Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine appears to protect against U.K. and South African COVID-19 strains, study finds

The outlook: With vaccination campaigns still in their early, at times bumbling, stage, governments choose to play it safe. Many unknowns still surround the spike of the virus’ two recently-discovered new variants, in the U.K. and South Africa.

International travel is already limited to essential or emergency trips by the new lockdowns across the region. That means that the latest testing requirements should only have a negative but marginal economic impact. But they are likely to remain in place for quite some time.

Read: Why France’s blundering COVID vaccination campaign is seen as a Macron fiasco

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