According to French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, France is considering tightening controls for travellers arriving from the UK, where the new, more contagious Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be fast spreading.

"In terms of the UK, the present rule is that in order to enter France, you must show a negative test that is less than 48 hours ago," Attal explained.

"However, we are always searching for methods to tighten the framework; we are now working on it, and I believe we will reach a decision in the coming days," he added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that at least one person has died in the UK after contracting the Omicron variant, marking the first publicly confirmed death worldwide from the fast-spreading new strain.

A third lockdown 'is not inevitable' says French government spokesman

Attal said that France has 133 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. Despite the threat of this variant, he stated there were no plans to implement further restrictive measures to manage the disease at this time, and that the French government's policy included accelerating the COVID vaccine booster shot programme.

"In terms of rules, there are no intentions to change them. The most important thing is to continue the vaccination campaign with a booster dose" Attal said, adding that the government was still keeping a close eye on the situation.

On Monday, the seven-day moving average of daily new cases hit 48,879. The current number of persons hospitalised with COVID-19 is 14,527, the highest since June 5.

On December 13, France reported that another 231 individuals had died from COVID in hospitals in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID patients in intensive care units to 2,752.