Foreign tourists to pay for COVID-19 tests to enter France

By Shweta Desai

PARIS (AA) – Foreign tourists coming to France from next week will have to pay for the PCR and antigen tests to declare they are not infected with COVID-19, a government spokesperson said.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Gabriel Attal said from July 7 foreign tourists will have to shell out up to €49 ($58) for PCR test and €29 ($34) for antigens.

Earlier, in order to boost tourism and encourage travelers to visit the country, senior ministers had announced free tests. However, in an about turn, the government has changed its decision on the principle of "reciprocity."

"It is a question of reciprocity knowing the French have to pay for these tests in most countries they travel," Attal said, defending the decision. The COVID-19 tests are free for French citizens; however, within Europe, conducting the tests can cost anywhere between €50-300 ($60-364).

According to the government's travel guidelines, vaccinated travelers entering France from countries classified in "red list": Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay, Namibia, Russia and the Seychelles, are required to conduct an antigen test on arrival at the airport.