The only UK airline currently serving Nice is British Airways, and to be able to fly on the usually overcrowded service travellers have needed to provide a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old.

However, it appears that the French authorities are no longer relying on the UK test certificates and are running their own tests on arriving passengers.

NEWS.MC has learned that all passengers arriving on board at least one BA flight from Heathrow last weekend were taken by coach to a designated coronavirus testing centre.

The test-on-entry protocol had previously been used for flights arriving from Turkey. The process can take up to two hours, according to a reliable source.

Last year and with considerable fanfare Nice Airport opened a coronavirus test centre for departing passengers. Tests were voluntary, in the case of most destinations, and free of charge.

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FILE PHOTO: A PCR test in progress Reuters