France can still avoid third coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister says

France can still avoid third coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister says

Castex called the border closure "a last chance" to avoid that.

"We know the grave impact [of a lockdown]".

The Czech Republic is also banning foreigners from entering the country for non-essential reasons in an effort to contain the pandemic.

Speaking shortly after President Emmanuel Macron conferred with senior ministers about the crisis, Castex said that from Sunday all arrivals into France from outside the European Union would be banned, except for essential travel.

All those arriving from other European Union countries will be required to produce a negative virus test, he says.

He said the measures are an attempt to avoid the economic cost of a third lockdown, adding that "the next few days will be decisive" in terms of any possible new restrictions.

Canada's main airlines to suspend service to Caribbean - NationNews Barbados
Canada's main airlines will also suspend service to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico starting this Sunday until April 30. Passengers will face additional testing requirements upon arriving in Canada, and it won't be cheap, the prime minister said.

The premier also said that large shopping centers, with the exception of grocery stores, are to close from Sunday. "Let's be very vigilant".

From the end of October to mid-December 2020, a less strict lockdown was put in place. On Jan. 16 2021, the curfew in force since mid-December was brought forward by two hours.

Virus infections, hospital admissions and deaths have been rising steadily but not sharply in recent weeks.

The number of coronavirus cases has reached 3,153,487 in France after new 22,858 cases were reported in the country.

Around 3,000 patients are now in intensive care, a level comparable to October, when the second lockdown started - and ended in mid-December - Mr Veran said. The government predicted that in February only one million people would receive the first of two necessary vaccine doses, after more than 1.4 million in January.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide - 63 of them in clinical trials - in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on January 26.

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