On Friday, May 15, French authorities stated that they will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from Spain as a reciprocal measure following an announcement by Spanish authorities that Spain will impose the same measure on all Schengen Area arrivals from Friday amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. According to French officials, the precise date that the measure would go into effect is yet to be decided; however, officials stated that France will enact the measure simultaneously with Spain. Entry to France is currently heavily restricted, with all nonessential travel banned for EU residents, while non-EU residents have been banned indefinitely. On Thursday, May 7, Minister of the Interior of France Christophe Castaner announced that France would be extending border restrictions through Monday, June 15, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, from Monday, May 11, wearing of face masks has been made compulsory in select public spaces and journeys of more than 100 km (62 mi) from an individual's home are prohibited, except for professional or exceptional personal reasons. Public transportation has resumed at a reduced capacity with strict social-distancing rules in place. Businesses are permitted to open with the exception of bars and cafés, while kindergartens and elementary schools will also gradually reopen. Private and public gatherings are limited to ten individuals, though all events and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theaters, and professional leagues, will remain suspended until further notice. A state of emergency will remain in place until Friday, July 24.
As of May 15, health authorities have confirmed 176,712 cases of COVID-19, including 27,381 associated deaths. 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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