France to close borders to all non-EU countries from Sunday

France will close its borders with non-EU countries from Sunday.

The borders will be approaching people arriving from outside the European Union to stop the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Jean Castex held a government health security meeting in the presidential palace to warn of a “high risk” of the new variants.

Anyone traveling from other EU countries must have a negative Covid-19 test, he said.

France will also close all major shopping centers from Sunday and restrict travel to and from its overseas territories.

Mr Castex ordered increased police controls on those who violate the 12-hour curfew in France, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants, despite a closure order since October.

Viral infections, hospital admissions, and deaths have increased steadily but not by much in the past few weeks.

Many doctors have called for a new nationwide shutdown, as has been imposed in several other European countries.

Mr Castex said the measures are an attempt to avoid the economic cost of a third lockdown.

Citing the economic devastation of such measures, Castex said, “Our duty is to do everything we can to avoid another lockdown and the days ahead will be crucial.

“More than ever, we should do everything we can to respect the rules.”

Currently, more than 60% of ICU beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. France has reported more than 75,000 deaths, the seventh highest in the world.

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