French PM warns against foreign travel plans

"It's not reasonable to imagine travelling far abroad very quickly," Edouard Philippe warns

20 April 2020

Anyone dreaming of a summer getaway in the immediate aftermath of France's coronavirus lockdown would be advised to consider a staycation, after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned against foreign travel in the short term.

He advised against plans for a foreign holiday during a press conference at Matignon, saying: "Is it possible to book a house, a rental, a camping place or a hotel in July or August in France or abroad? I'm afraid it's not reasonable to imagine travelling far abroad very quickly."

During a two-hour televised address, Mr Philippe said he was unsure that air travel could, "resume quickly under good conditions", and expressed doubts about any, "conditions of entry or re-entry" to France, which he predicted would be, "quite demanding for those arriving from abroad".

He expressed similar reservations about weddings. "In view of the need to continue to enforce the rules of social distancing, it does not seem completely reasonable to imagine that a wedding that brings together 200 people in a confined space is immediately feasible," he said.

"For how long I don't know yet, but it doesn't seem appropriate or reasonable to me to imagine that in the very short term it would be possible."

He promised further updates when the public health picture is clearer.

“Our life after May 11 will not be the same as before ... and probably not for a long time,” he warned, adding that France faced a 'brutal' economic hit as a result of the virus and accompanying restrictions.

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