France to Penalize Airlines Failing to Verify Passenger COVID Tests

Paris will sanction air companies that do not conduct checks of their passengers’ PCR tests when boarding in compliance with the recently introduced requirement for arrivals to France to have a negative PCR test, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said.

"We will not hesitate to sanction companies that do not check the PCR tests on boarding. We did it for Ethiopian Airlines. And I think I can say that it had a deterrent effect," Djebbari twitted late on Sunday.

Notably, the government penalized Ethiopian Airlines in late January by suspending its inbound flights for violating the regulation to verify PCR tests of travelers arriving in France by flights operated by the company.

The new coronavirus restrictions, including a ban on non-essential trips between states outside the EU and the requirement to present a negative PCR test less than 72 hours upon arrival to the country came into force on February 1.

Besides, France remains under such COVID-19 related measures as the night curfew, closures of certain public places and facilities such as museums, cinema, gyms, bars, and cafes, and social-distancing and health restrictions, including the mandatory mask-wearing.

As of Monday, France has registered nearly 3,400,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 80,000 related fatalities.

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