France closes to non-EU countries, closes shopping centers, tightens controls

France will close its borders to countries outside the European Union from Sunday, “unless there is a compelling reason”, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Friday.

The Prime Minister, who considered that there was still “a chance to avoid containment”, also announced the closure of major shopping centers, and the strengthening of checks on compliance with the curfew in force, in statements made from the Elysee after a Defense Council.

“Any entry into France and any exit from our territory to or from a country outside the European Union will be prohibited, unless there is an overriding reason, from midnight on Sunday”,

The Prime Minister also specified that a negative PCR test would be required for any entry into France from a country of the European Union, “with the exception of cross-border workers”. This measure, already in force since last Sunday for maritime and air transport, must therefore be extended to land transport.

Finally, “all trips to and from all of our overseas territories will now also be subject to compelling reason production from this Sunday,” added the head of government in a brief televised address.

Some shopping centers closed

Non-food shopping centers of more than 20,000 m2, “that is to say those which promote the most brewing”, will be closed in France from this Sunday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Friday.

In addition, from Monday the attendance gauges “will be reinforced in all supermarkets”, he added.

“The police and gendarmes will be mobilized to control non-compliance with the curfew, the organization of clandestine parties and the illegal opening of restaurants in increased proportions”, he further announced. He specified that a “particular firmness instruction will be applied for those who defraud the rules in force”.

The epidemic pressure linked to Covid-19 remained strong on Friday in France, with nearly 23,000 new contaminations and a high level of admissions to hospital and intensive care.

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