France authorities on Saturday said that it will require people who are not fully vaccinated and arriving from Europe to present a negative COVID test report which should not be more than 24 hours old.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, in a statement, on Saturday, said that arrivals from the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands will be subjected to the new rule. This new rule comes into effect at midnight Saturday into Sunday.

Before this, people arriving from the UK were required to show a COVID negative report which was taken 48 hours before.

Arrivals from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece have had to show tests taken within 72 hours.

But Castex said that people who are fully vaccinated with a jab recognised by the European Medicines Agency -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson -- will not be required to show a test.

The statement said the exemption was in place because "vaccines are effective against the virus, and in particular its variant Delta".

Tunisia, Mozambique, Cuba and Indonesia have also been added to France's so-called red list.

Travel from red list countries is only allowed on pressing grounds and even then vaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days.

The new rules come in the backdrop of several European nations experiencing a rise in COVID cases, blamed in part on the highly transmissible Delta variant which has been wreaking havoc.

New infections have increased in France in recent weeks, hitting nearly 11,000 on Friday, even as the government races to vaccinate the population.

President Emmanuel Macron said this week that vaccine health passes would be required for entry to most public places and that all healthcare workers must be fully inoculated, sparking a rush to book appointments for the jab.

Just over half of France's population, around 35.5 million people, have to date received at least one vaccine dose so far.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said this week it expects a sharp increase in coronavirus cases, with nearly five times as many new infections by August 1.