Two groups of the coronavirus variant, first discovered in Britain, have been found in France, the health ministry said on Thursday. The discovery comes when Prime Minister Jean Castex announced an extension of the closure of the UK-France border.
A total of 19 cases of the variant have been identified in the country, including one cluster in the central French region of Ile de France and the other in Brittany, west of the country, the ministry said in a statement.
The border between Britain and France will remain closed “until further notice”
“We are now just over 15,000 new daily cases, or three times the target of 5,000,” Castex said. The growth of infections is deteriorating more than in mid-December, he warned.
On December 20, France closed its border with Britain after a new variant of Covid-19 was opened in Britain. Two days later, Castex said French citizens, residents and people with a “legitimate reason” could enter, as long as they could show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test.
The coronavirus has killed 66,841 people in France, according to the latest figures released by the health service on Thursday. A total of 2,727,321 people have been infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.