Paris – France will close its borders to non-essential travel from outside the European Union starting at midnight Sunday. Residents are only allowed to go to countries outside the European Union if they have a “good reason”. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced this after high-level consultations on curbing the Coronavirus.
The head of government cited contagious virus mutations in Britain and South Africa as a reason for the travel restrictions. Excluded transport workers and goods at the border. French Minister for European Affairs Clement Boone explained that Switzerland is included in the “European region”, but the United Kingdom is not.
People from European Union countries coming to France by road must show a negative PCR test. This actually applies to passengers on airplanes and boats.
According to Castex, the new lockdown is not yet necessary. “The coming days are crucial. We still have a chance to stop it.” President Emmanuel Macron described the call for the closure as legitimate, but pointed out the dangerous impact of this measure “on all fronts.” The country has been locked down twice before.
Castex said the curfew in France is in effect from 6 pm and there will be additional measures. For example, the police will check for additional compliance. Also, large malls where no food is sold should be closed from Sunday.
In the past 24 hours, nearly 23,000 new infections were diagnosed. The vaccination campaign is slow, in part due to late delivery.