Frankreich wants to treat EU citizens preferentially and exempt them from the two-week quarantine obligation that is planned when entering French territory. President Emmanuel Macron raised the issue to a top priority and disagreed with his Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, who announced a weekend quarantine requirement for all travelers to France and overseas territories.
Macron said that those who enter France from an EU partner country or Great Britain do not have to quarantine for two weeks. The entry restrictions are expected to continue until July 24th.
Only one “valid reason” currently allows EU citizens to enter France. This can be an urgent family visit, court appointments or professional reasons. The mandatory quarantine would have been a severe restriction, especially for commuters traveling to work in Switzerland, Germany or Luxembourg.
Advice on extending the health emergency
The Senate is currently advising on a law to extend the health emergency by two months until July 24. MPs from the ruling party La République en marche (LREM) had warned the president against the fact that the quarantine regulation would create even greater hardship for cross-border commuters than before. “We cannot expect the residents of regions close to the border to face any further complications,” said LREM MP Christophe Arend. He welcomed the President’s word in power to waive the quarantine requirement for EU citizens.
LREM MP Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade also advocated close cooperation with the EU partner countries in order to avoid unnecessary hardship. Freedom of movement in the EU internal market is a great asset. “National foreclosure does not protect against the virus,” said Anglade.
Macron has long been trying to ensure that EU countries coordinate closely and are more united in fighting pandemics. France has not closed its internal borders with other EU countries. Macron recently criticized in a conversation with the “Financial Times” that too many EU countries had chosen the route of national withdrawal and closed the borders. Now the moment of truth has come for the EU.
The French side on the Franco-German border only began to send officials to the open border posts after the unilateral closure of most border crossings, which was decided by the federal government, to carry out entry controls. Currently there is still a travel ban within France, which should be relaxed from May 11th. From then on, trips within a radius of 100 kilometers around the residence should be allowed again.