France on Thursday announced it is relaxing travel restrictions on seven countries outside the European Union.

As of Friday, travelers will no longer be required to state a compelling reason for their travel to or from Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said.

They will still need to produce a negative PCR test taken not less than 72 hours before entry at the borders.

France closed down its borders in the last week of January in view of the wide circulation of the UK variant of COVID-19. To control the spread of the virus, border and travel restrictions were tightened with conditional entry and exit from France based on compelling reasons.

The list of “compelling and personal reasons” is now expanded to reflect all family relationships, married or separated couples, minor children, students and those with main residency in France, who can commute with ease.

Jean Baptiste-Lemoyne, the secretary of state in charge of tourism and overseas French people, said for travel to other countries the list of compelling reasons is being expanded to include situations related to family estrangement.

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