FRANCE has announced it could shut its borders with Spain as outbreaks of COVID-19 cases soar across the Spanish territory.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government will not rule out closing the borders again following the new outbreaks in Spain, specifically in Catalunya.
French President Emmanuel Macron, together with his Defence Council, will examine the possibility of closure tomorrow.
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The borders between France and Spain reopened on June 21 after three months of confinement on the Spanish side to combat the virus.
However, after just one month of free movement, a surge in cases may see them closed again.
After several days of speculation about possible restrictions on crossing the border with Spain, Prime Minister Mr Castex said: “We are monitoring this very closely, here in particular, because it is a real issue that we must also discuss with the Spanish authorities.”
French Government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, acknowledged that all possibilities are on the table.
“We do not rule out anything on principle. We observe the situation as it is and will look at all the measures that can be taken to protect health and safety,” he said.
Spain’s coronavirus rate has tripled in the three weeks since lockdown was eased with regions like Catalunya among the worst hit.
As a result of outbreaks in Catalunya, up to 96,000 residents of three Catalan towns have been advised to stay at home and residents in Barcelona have been advised to leave their home only for essential trips.
Meanwhile, Ireland maintains quarantine on travellers from Spain.
The Dublin government is maintaining its strict travel restrictions to prevent outbreaks of coronavirus and is only lifting the 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in Ireland from 13 European countries.
Countries excluded include major holiday destinations such as Spain and France as well as neighbouring United Kingdom.