PARIS – France says that its borders with others arriving from outside the European Union from Sunday to verify and prevent the spread of new variants of the virus and a third blockade are final.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the new move Friday night after an emergency assembly on physical security at the presidential palace, warning of a “great risk” of the new variants.
Everyone arriving from other EU countries will have to produce negative viral evidence, he said.
France already had limits on cross-border traffic due to the virus and imposed stricter controls on airports and ports last week. International tourism in France has slowed down to a network due to the pandemic, and restaurants and tourist sites have been closed since October, as well as many hotels.
France will also close all primary grocery shopping centers from Sunday and restrict to and from their DOM-TOM.
Castex has ordered police checks on those who break a curfew of 12 hours a day in France, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants in defiance of a closing order that has been in place since October.
Viral infections, hospitalizations and deaths have increased, but not sharply, in France in recent weeks, and many doctors have called for a new national closure such as taxes in several other European countries.
Citing the economic devastation of such measures, Castex said: “Our duty is to put everything in position for a new blockade, and the next few days will be decisive. “
France has reported one of the world’s virus mortality rates, 75,620, and more than 60% of its large care beds are occupied by patients inflamed by the virus.
“More than ever, we will have to do everything we can to comply with the rules,” Castex said.
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