Alertes de sécurité

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07 mai 2020 | 20h46 UTC

France: Border closures extended through June 15 /update 23

France Alerte de sécurité

French authorities announce extension to border closures until June 15 amid COVID-19 pandemic; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/5/2020, 12h00 until 15/5/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Paris). COUNTRY/REGION France

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Event

On Thursday, May 7, Interior Minister Christopher Castaner announced that France would be extending the closure of its borders through Monday, June 15, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The country's borders will remain closed to all but essential travel for EU residents, while non-EU residents have been banned indefinitely.

From Monday, May 11, face masks will be made compulsory in select public spaces and journeys of more than 100 km (62 mi) from an individual's home will be prohibited, except for professional or exceptional personal reasons. Public transportation will resume at a reduced capacity with strict social distancing rules in place. Businesses will be permitted to open with the exception of bars and cafés, while kindergartens and elementary schools will also gradually reopen. Private and public gatherings will be limited to ten individuals, though all events and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theaters, and professional leagues, will remain suspended until further notice.

The state of emergency will remain in place until Friday, July 24, while a nationwide lockdown is due to expire on Monday, May 11. Under the lockdown measures, individuals are prohibited from leaving their homes except for essential needs, such as shopping for food or seeking medical assistance. Authorities also introduced an International Circulation Declaration on Monday, April 6. The completion of the declaration is required prior to entry by all travelers transiting through French territories and applies to all forms of transportation. Travel between metropolitan France and overseas territories is also affected by the measure. For more information, please see this website.

As of May 7, health authorities have confirmed 174,399 cases of COVID-19, including 25,812 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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 labored 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.

Advice

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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