This Sunday, France decided to suspend for 48 hours “all movement of persons, including freight transport, by road, air, sea or rail from the United Kingdom“. This is what Matignon announced this Sunday evening.”Only unaccompanied freight will therefore be authorized. Flows of people or transport to the UK are not affected“, specified the services of the Prime Minister.
Emmanuel Macron, whose state of health is “stable” after contracting Covid-19, chaired a last-minute health defense council by videoconference at the end of the day, while concern is mounting in Europe. A new variant of the coronavirus has indeed been discovered in the United Kingdom.
Measures effective from this Sunday evening midnight
“The President of the Republic (…) has decided that France, like other European countries, is taking safeguard measures by suspending traffic from the United Kingdom to France from midnight tonight, not only for passenger transport but also for goods transport for at least 48 hours “, explained Jean-Baptise Djebbari, LCI’s guest transport minister.
The British government announced on Saturday a re-containment in London and in the south-east of England in an attempt to curb an increase in contamination attributed to this new strain of the virus. It could be up to 70% more contagious than the previous one. She is “out of control“in the United Kingdom, said British Minister of Health Matt Hancock on Sunday, epidemiologists do not hide their concern.
Several European countries have taken the same decision
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel also discussed this Sunday with the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on the answer to be provided. Earlier today, several European countries, including Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, decided to suspend flights and trains to or from the United Kingdom.
The World Health Organization and the European Disease Agency have called on their members in Europe to strengthen controls to combat the spread of this new variant of Covid-19, in particular by improving their ability to detect the strain. Called “VUI 202012/01” (for “Variant Under Investigation”, a variant under investigation), it includes several mutations and according to initial evaluations would lead to increased contagiousness of the coronavirus.
A handful of cases have already been reported outside British soil: in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. At the moment, there is “no evidence of a change in the severity of the disease“, although this point is being researched.