On Wednesday, April 8, French authorities confirmed that the ongoing nationwide lockdown set to expire on Wednesday, April 15, will be extended to a date further in the future due to continuing concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. As of Wednesday evening (local time), officials have yet to announce the duration of the extension, though President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address the nation on Monday, April 13, regarding the situation. Under the lockdown, individuals are prohibited from leaving their homes except for essential needs, such as shopping for food or seeking medical assistance. The announcement comes as authorities in Paris implement new restrictions on Wednesday, April 8, which ban outdoor exercise between 10:00 and 19:00 (local time).
Authorities have also implemented an International Circulation Declaration as of Monday, April 6. The Declaration is required for all travelers seeking to transit through French territories and applies to all forms of transportation. Travel between metropolitan France and overseas territories are also affected by the measure.
As of Wednesday, April 8, 77,226 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationwide, as well as 10,313 associated fatalities. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.