France has imposed tough new coronavirus border restrictions, but Prime Minister Jean Castex resisted imposing a new nationwide lockdown. Starting from Sunday, all but essential travels from the European Union will be banned, and testing restrictions from inside the block will be toughened.
The French premier further added the police officials would increase their enforcement of the night-time curfew and other social distancing rules in place. However, despite the additional rule tightening, the infections in the country remain high. The new restrictions imposed by the French officials will affect the UK as it is no longer in the EU. But later, the transport minister clarified that the new rules would not affect the trade and imports of Britain.
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Throughout the past week, the threat of a third national lockdown has loomed amid a warning by the health experts that a surge in the new infections would demand one. However, after a high-level security meeting on Friday, Castex said that a lockdown could still be prevented.
Under the new travel restrictions starting from Sunday, all travel from outside the EU will be banned except for vital reasons. And the travelers from within the block will be required to submit a coronavirus negative test. Previously, this rule applied to only sea and air travel, not those arriving by road.
Besides, the PM also vowed a strict crackdown on illegal restaurant openings and secret parties across the country. This comes as the health authorities in France reported as many as 820 new coronavirus fatalities, with more than 27,000 people in the hospital under treatment, including 3,000 in intensive care centers.
But contrary to many nations across the world, the French authorities resisted a national lockdown following the festive period. As of Friday, the schools remain open in the country, however, bars and restaurants have been closed in a bid to curb the new infections.