Third lockdown for France: what does this mean for the rest of Europe?
After a surge in coronavirus cases, France faces a third lockdown.
The infection rate in France has risen to one of the highest in Europe which is said to be due to the delay in roll-out of the vaccine and the new virus variants. President Macron therefore announced that the country could be hit by another wave which may be more impactful than the first. New restrictions are being rolled out across France as a consequence, including the closure of schools, non essential shops and a nationwide curfew.
What does this mean for Europe?
A lot of Europe is also battling the virus, Hungary is said to have the highest mortality rate in the world. Not only France is suffering from this wave, other countries within the EU are also imposing stricter measures. For instance, Belgium is in a 4 week easter lockdown and non essential travel remains banned.
With France being so affected by this wave of the virus, it poses the question, will this affect the rest of Europe due to the free movement of people?
The EU is implementing a type of vaccine passport called a “Digital Green Certificate” which will show that people have been vaccinated and that they have had a negative coronavirus test result. The aim is that travel across borders will be safer with the vaccine passport.
The digital certificate will be accepted by all EU member states and it will allow free movement around Europe without Covid restrictions. It will mean that the virus won’t be easily spread across the member states.
However, there is speculation that strict restrictions on travel could continue this summer, especially as there is a surge in infections generally across Europe. As France is close to the UK and there are good transport connections such as ferries and the Eurostar, there is caution with regards to allowing such travel and ensuring that the UK doesn’t suffer from yet another wave of the virus.
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