French Transport and Environment Minister Élisabeth Borne has told RTE Radio that all flights outside of the so-called Schengen zone will be stopped for a period as the country battles to contain the Coronavirus outbreak. The Schengen zone is a group of 26 European countries, including France, where people can cross borders without any checks or restrictions.
The new travel ban introduced by France goes further than existing restrictions imposed at a European level that restricts all but ‘essential’ travel into the European Union until at least May 15. French carriers, including Air France, have maintained a small long-haul passenger network despite the ban but this now looks set to be axed.
“There are no more international flights outside the Schengen zone”, Borne said in an interview with RTE Radio. The minister suggested the ban would remain in place until at least May 11.
Borne said the COVID-19 pandemic was an “an evolving health situation,” telling the interviewer in response to a question about whether the French people could go on a summer holiday that she would “not tell you today, what will happen in July”.
The minister said it would be “unreasonable to go to Asia or the United States”. Suggesting the restrictions might be lifted by May 11, Borne said she would “ask the French to wait a little bit so that we can see how the epidemic is evolving.”
The decision from the French authorities came hours after President Trump said he would sign an executive order banning immigration into the United States. Trump provided no other details about the order and the White House was unable to immediately offer details on the scope of the order.
A voluntary travel ban between Canada and Mexico with the United States has been extended for a further 30-days and restrictions remain in force for both Europe and China.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.