Foreign tourists coming to France from next week will have to pay for the PCR and antigen tests to declare they are not infected with COVID-19, a government spokesperson said.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Gabriel Attal said from July 7 foreign tourists will have to shell out up to €49 ($58) for PCR test and €29 ($34) for antigens.

Earlier, in order to boost tourism and encourage travelers to visit the country, senior ministers had announced free tests. However, in an about-turn, the government has changed its decision on the principle of “reciprocity.”

“It is a question of reciprocity knowing the French have to pay for these tests in most countries they travel,” Attal said, defending the decision. The COVID-19 tests are free for French citizens; however, within Europe, conducting the tests can cost anywhere between €50-300 ($60-364).

According to the government’s travel guidelines, vaccinated travelers entering France from countries classified in the “red list”: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uruguay, Namibia, Russia, and Seychelles, are required to conduct an antigen test on arrival at the airport.

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