France considering UK travel ban over coronavirus

By: AFP      Published: 02:19 AM, 18 Mar, 2020
France considering UK travel ban over coronavirus
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (C) flanked by French Health and Solidarity Minister Agnes Buzyn (L) and French High Commissioner for Pension Reform Laurent Pietraszewski (R), attends a meeting at Hotel Matignon in Paris on January 10.–AFP

France could stop British travellers from entering the country if Britain fails to lockdown to battle the coronavirus, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday.

He said if Britain did not take similar measures to France then "we would find it hard to accept on our territory British citizens who move freely in their own country and then come to France".

France began a lockdown on Tuesday set to last at least two weeks that prohibits all non-essential travelling.

Britain has yet to adopt such measures with schools remaining open and travel largely unrestricted.

"If we want to be coherent, we need all those who are inside the European zone to adopt methods and processes that are coherent to fight against the epidemic. Italy, France and Spain have chosen confinement," said Philippe.

The EU is imposing an entry ban to its territory for an initial period of 30 days but it is not due to affect citizens of former EU member Britain or non-EU members of the passport-free Schengen zone.