France Covid news: Is it safe to travel to France? Can you book a summer holiday?

Macron ‘has blood on his hands’ says Ash Gould

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French President Emmanuel Macron announced the new lockdown on Wednesday in a bid to reduce surging coronavirus cases. Lockdown measures will include schools closing, non-essential shops closing and a ban on travelling more than 10km (six miles) from home.

What about travel to France?

The latest advice from the Foreign Office advises against “all but essential travel to the whole of France based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”.

While the situation is developing, the laws for travelling to France are still more flexible.

On March 11, the official advice for anyone travelling changed, opening up non-essential travel from the UK to France.

Under the guidance, anyone coming from the UK, “whatever their nationality, are no longer required to have a compelling reason to enter French territory”.

However, all travellers over the age of 11 would be required to have a negative PCR Covid test, and a seven-day isolation period on arrival.

How bad is Covid in France?

On Wednesday, France’s health ministry reported 59,038 new cases.

The country is facing a peak of over 5,000 people in intensive care.

France has so far reported more than 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and 95,495 Covid-related deaths.

With this current peak, the pressure on hospitals has resulted in a surge in demand for beds at intensive care units.

Hospitals have also been reducing non-Covid treatments to cope with the influx.

Last week, the French Hospital Federation (FHF) warned that wards across the country were facing an “unprecedented violent shock” in the coming weeks if authorities were unable to curb the rise in cases.

The FHF urged the government to issue a “strict lockdown” or risk medical services becoming overwhelmed.

The head of infectious diseases at the Tenon Hospital in Paris, Gilles Pialoux, said that lockdown restrictions should have been implemented sooner.

He told France Inter radio on Tuesday: “We’ve lost so much time that the measures now will be harder and last for longer.”

He said hospital staff were “tired of being tired”.

Mr Macron said it was a race between vaccinations on the one hand and attempting to control the spread of the virus on the other – currently, 10.7 million doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in France.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo backed the closure of schools, saying the move – which had been seen by the government as a last resort – was necessary because of the “very serious situation”.

Public support for a new national lockdown has reportedly been increasing in recent days.

An Elabe Institute poll published on Wednesday suggesting that 54 percent of citizens supported the lockdown.

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