France on Tuesday suspended all flights to and from Brazil until further notice given the worsening coronavirus situation, according to the prime minister.
“It is inappropriate to say we haven’t taken action but we noticed that the situation is degrading and therefore suspending all flights between France and Brazil,” Jean Castex told the National Assembly regarding the rapid spread of the P1 variant and the return of French nationals from Brazil.
The Emmanuel Macron administration was criticized by lawmakers for keeping flights to Brazil open at a time when the South American nation is among the worst-hit countries with the virus.
The nationwide death toll reached 13,517,808 on Tuesday. Several European countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and the UK decided to close their airways.
Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, claimed earlier that the Council of State ruled in favor of keeping airways open to Brazil, in the name of freedom of movement.
Castex dismissed claims that the government did not act in time.
He said until January, travel from Brazil was allowed only for essential reasons.
The Council of State canceled that decision considering excessive constraints on French nationals living in Brazil.
Accordingly, rules were relaxed and entry was permitted on producing a negative test while boarding and at arrival.
Travelers were also required to isolate for 10 days upon arrival in France.