May 3, 2020 / 8:20 PM / 22 days ago

French coronavirus quarantine to spare travellers from Schengen area and UK

FILE PHOTO: An information board for travellers about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen at Montparnasse train station in Paris, France, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Travellers to France who arrive from a country in Europe’s Schengen open-border area or Britain will be exempt from a planned compulsory two-week quarantine, the French consulate in Britain said on Sunday.

The new quarantine rules will apply to travellers, whether French or foreigners, as part of the fight against the new coronavirus.

Details will be provided in a decree specifying measures laid out in a bill extending a state of emergency until July 24. The move allows the government to restrict freedom of movement to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“People entering the French territory from countries in the European area (EU/Schengen and United Kingdom) will NOT be affected by the quarantine measure announced in France, the details of which will be specified shortly,” the French consulate in Britain said on Twitter on a verified account.

France, which has been the fifth-hardest hit country with 24,895 deaths from COVID-19, is preparing to gradually lift lockdown measures from May 11.

The French presidency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said earlier on Sunday that a list of “countries at risk” would soon be issued, without giving details.

“We’ll establish a list of countries at risk and... when people come from risk areas, whether they are French or foreigners, we’ll have mandatory quarantine measures,” she said on France Inter radio station.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Mathieu Rosemain, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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