France third wave: how many Covid cases are there in France - and will the country go back on the UK's red list?

Some areas of France are subject to additional restrictions in response to a rise in Covid cases

France is currently experiencing a third wave of Covid infections, with various parts of the country back in lockdown and tighter restrictions in place.

But what are the current restrictions in place and will the country go back on the UK’s red list?

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France is currently experiencing a third wave of Covid infections (Photo: Shutterstock)

How many cases of Covid does France have?

France recorded nearly 42,000 new cases and 900 deaths on Friday (26 March), and has now had more than 4.5 million Covid cases since the start of the pandemic. This is currently the fourth most cases of Covid in the world, after the US, Brazil, and India.

A total of 94,492 people have so far died from coronavirus in France.

On Saturday evening (27 March), there were 4,791 people in ICUs across the country, which neared the peak of the country's second Covid wave in which 4,903 people were in ICU care on 16 November 2020.

What restrictions are in place in France?

A national curfew is currently in place in France from 7pm to 6am. There are a small number of exemptions from the curfew, but these are very limited and only apply for those with medical needs or caring responsibilities, or those who work in roles which cannot be done from home.

Some areas are also subject to additional restrictions in response to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

This includes Ile-de-France (Paris), Hauts-de-France (Calais, Dunkirk, Lille), Alpes-Maritimes, (Nice) Seine-Maritime, Eure, Nievre, Rhone (Lyon) and Aube. In these areas, non-essential shops are closed.

Travel to other regions in France from these areas is banned, apart from for professional purposes, or in exceptional circumstances.

Exercise is permitted within a 10km radius, but attestations (self-certificates) are required both for curfew and if a person goes further than 10km from their home.

Will France be added to the UK’s red list?

Ministers are set to discuss whether or not France should be placed on the UK’s ‘red list’ on Tuesday (30 March).

The tightening of travel restrictions for European arrivals is expected to be discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee - known as "Covid O" - on Tuesday afternoon, as Covid cases continue to rise in France.

Travellers who have been in or through any of the countries on the red list in the 10 days prior to their arrival in the UK will be refused entry.

However, if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter, but you must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

Currently, travel abroad from the UK is still prohibited for the foreseeable future, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.

A date hasn’t yet been announced as to when holidays overseas will be able to go ahead, but the Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.

In England, Scotland and Wales, the earliest date that holidays may resume is 17 May, but Northern Ireland has not yet announced its own plans.