July 17 (UPI) -- France on Saturday tightened COVID-19 restrictions on people arriving from Britain and some other European countries, requiring them to show a negative test taken within the previous 24 hours.
In a statement, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that beginning at midnight Sunday, travelers from Britain, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands will be required to produce proof of a negative test, Radio France International reported.
Castex said the rule will not apply to travelers "with a complete vaccination regime" because "vaccines are effective against the virus, especially the Delta variant."
There were 11,000 new COVID-19 infections in France on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, continuing a trend of rising caseloads across Europe this month as the Delta variant took hold on the continent.
The French requirements were imposed just a day after the British government announced it had backtracked on plans to lift mandatory quarantines for vaccinated travelers from France.
Rather than ending the requirements this weekend as initially planned, the British health and travel ministries instead said they would stay in place, meaning arrivals from France must continue to quarantine in their own accommodations for 10 days and complete two COVID-19 tests, regardless of vaccination status.
British Health Minister Sajid Javid cited "current cases of the Beta variant in France" as a reason for the move.
The Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa, accounts for only about 10% of new infections in France, prompting some in the country to question why the move was imposed.
Veronique Trillet-Lenoir, a French member of European Parliament, told the BBC it was "difficult to understand" the British rule since the Beta variant is "not present at all" in mainland France.