French President urges European neighbors to better coordinate cross-border virus restrictions
French President Emmanuel Macron today urged European neighbors to better coordinate cross-border virus restrictions as infections were on the rebound – and as multiple countries imposed tests or quarantines on visitors from France.
Amid worries that France could become a new virus hotspot, Macron defended his government’s push to restart the economy and its handling of the post-lockdown period. Over the summer, French people travelled around the country for family gatherings and dance parties blamed for fuelling the recent rise in cases.
“Our country needs to … learn to live with the virus” in order to repair the economy, finance welfare aid like temporary jobless benefits, and educate its children, he said.
Paris imposed mask requirements everywhere in public starting Friday, and a fifth of French regions are now considered “red zones” where the virus is actively circulating. More than 6,000 new infections were reported yesterday, up from several hundred a day in May and June. But hospitalisations and deaths remain relatively low.
The government is planning to reopen all its schools next week. Tour de France, the cycle race, is starting its three-week trek around the France tomorrow.
Now that Britain, Germany and Belgium have imposed new restrictions on people arriving from France, Macron called for better European coordination. He said it made no sense to close borders, particularly for millions of workers within the EU’s travel-free zone who cross borders to work.