French President Emmanuel Macron has announced Europe’s borders will close starting Monday, for 30 days.
“All trips between non-European countries and the EU and the Schengen zone will be suspended for 30 days,” he said in a televised address to the nation.
French people on holiday will be able to come back to France and those living abroad were told to contact embassies and consulates who will help them be repatriated.
Brussels had announced earlier on Monday it had proposed closing the EU’s borders to stop the spread of coronavirus but said a decision would not be made until the next day.
Mr Macron also announced major support for businesses, including not having to pay taxes and bills, so “not a single French person will be left without resources.”
The second round of municipal elections will be suspended and any new reforms going through parliament will be halted from Wednesday, he said.
Mr Macron warned the French people that “movements will be very strongly reduced” for 15 days after chiding them for not complying with earlier measures drawn up to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Nationwide restrictions are being enforced on how far people can go from their homes, and for what purpose, with transport “heavily reduced” from lunchtime on Tuesday for at least two weeks, Mr Macron said.
He said people will no longer be able to have family get togethers and “meeting your friends in the park, the street will no longer be possible”.