Following a sharp increase in cases connected to the Omicron coronavirus variant in the UK, France will tighten border restrictions for visitors arriving from the UK, the government announced on Thursday.

The restrictions include reducing the validity of antigen and PCR testing for arriving travellers to 24 hours from 48 hours, as well as limiting the reasons for travelling from the UK to France.

"We'll put in place a control, even more drastic than what we have now," government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said. "For people who are not French nationals or Europeans, people who are not French residents, tourism and business trips will be restricted."

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Travellers arriving in France from the UK will be required to self-isolate for seven days, though this will be lifted after 48 hours if their test conducted in France is negative. Until now, these limitations solely applied to non-vaccinated visitors from the UK.

"Our goal is to keep Omicron from spreading across our territory as much as possible," Attal added, noting that there are presently 240 confirmed Omicron cases in France.

According to the most recent numbers revealed on Wednesday, new COVID-19 infections in the UK reached their highest daily level since the pandemic began in early 2020, with more than 78,000 infections recorded.

France reported 65,713 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours on Wednesday, increasing the total number of cases to 8.4 million since the pandemic began. Since the start of the pandemic, France has seen a total of 120,983 deaths.