PARIS (Reuters) – France is advising its citizens not to travel to Spain’s region of Catalonia to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the French prime minister said on Friday Jean Castex.
Regional authorities across Spain introduced new coronavirus restrictions on Thursday aimed at stemming an increase in infections. France said last weekend that it had not ruled out closing the border between the two countries.
In Catalonia, nearly 8,000 cases have been diagnosed within 14 days until Thursday – almost half of the 16,410 detected across the country – despite guidelines for residents of the regional capital of Barcelona to stay at home. [L5N2EU69B]
“Regarding the situation in Catatonia, which shows indicators of aggravated infection, we strongly encourage French citizens to avoid going there until the health situation improves,” Castex told reporters. .
He also said that Paris was in talks with the government in Madrid to limit as much as possible the flow of traffic from Spain to France.
In France, the public health authority said on Thursday there had been a significant increase in new confirmed cases of people with COVID-19, as the number of deaths in the country increased slightly. [P6N2DU00F]
Castex, who was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Charles-de-Gaulle International Airport, north of Paris, also said the government planned to tighten France’s border controls in hopes of better contain the pandemic.
People arriving from sixteen countries outside the European Union where the infection rate is considered high will be subject to compulsory tests on arrival at French airports and seaports. Those who test positive will have to go into quarantine.
Reporting by Christian Lowe; Written by Matthias Blamont
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