French authorities announced the reopening of its borders for European travel from midnight (local time) on Monday, June 15, amid the easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drain announced that the decision to lift the border restrictions was made in accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission. From midnight on June 15, all travelers arriving from the UK, EU and Schengen zones will no longer need an international travel permit.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Wednesday, June 10, that emergency health powers granted to the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end on July 10. The French government had been given special powers to limit civil liberties without the need for parliamentary approval as it passed the state of health emergency legislation in March.
Additionally, Philippe previously announced the reopening of cafes, bars, and restaurants as of June 2. Museums and monuments have reopened, and access to beaches, lakes, and rivers has been restored.
As of Sunday, June 14, health authorities have confirmed 193,746 COVID-19 cases and 29,401 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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