European planes on the tarmac at Johannesburg airport (Photo: Marriott Protea Hotel O.R Tambo International Airport)

France will resume flights to and from ten southern African countries on Saturday

“with a drastic framework”, announced government spokesman Gabriel Attal on Wednesday, after the council of ministers. The countries concerned by this measure are South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

If flights resume on December 4, they will be strictly reserved for a handful of categories of travelers: Only French citizens, EU nationals, diplomats and flight crews will be allowed on board.

Upon arrival in France, isolation will nevertheless be required. “French nationals stranded in the seven countries concerned will be able to return to France by showing a negative test on leaving, with also a test on arrival as well as isolation between 7 and 10 days. We are not taking any risks,” the government spokesman said.

Air France

said it was waiting for the final health authorisations from the authorities before resuming its flights to Johannesburg. On the other hand, flights to Mauritius are not currently affected by the restrictions. On the airline’s website, passengers can rebook flights to both destinations and should check the latest information on the airline’s homepage.

Luc Citrinot