France suspends all Brazil flights due to virus variants

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PARIS (AP) – France suspended all flights from Brazil on Tuesday amid mounting fears over the particularly contagious coronavirus variant that has been sweeping the South American country.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the suspension to parliament.

“We note that the situation is getting worse and so we have decided to suspend all flights between Brazil and France until further notice,” Castex said.

Although France has seen comparatively few known cases of the P.1 variant striking Brazil, the ravages it is causing in Latin America’s largest nation are increasingly raising alarm bells in France.

Castex noted that travelers from Brazil already needed to test negative for the virus before their departure and upon arrival in France, and also quarantine for 10 days. But the government has also been facing mounting calls from health experts for a flight suspension to further limit potential spread.

France has had 5.1 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, the highest number in Europe, and has seen over 99,000 people die in the pandemic. The country is struggling with another wave of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations that is straining hospitals in Paris and elsewhere.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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