France to limit long-distance train, bus, plane travel due to coronavirus

In this file photo taken on December 23, 2019 two TGV trains of the French state railway company SNCF are parked at the platform of the Gare de l'Est train station in Paris. (File photo: AFP)

France will progressively reduce long-distance train, bus and plane travel over the coming days in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the government announced Sunday.

The country, which has already shuttered cafes, restaurants, schools, and universities and urged people to limit their movements, will now seek to limit long-distance travel “to the strictly necessary,” ecology minister Elisabeth Borne told journalists in Paris.

Long-distance train traffic will be halved, with only “a few” international flights maintained, she said.

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Deputy transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said this meant that “some flights to the United States, Africa, some domestic flights” and to France’s overseas territories will be maintained.

Airports will remain open, but certain terminals will be closed - one at Orly Airport in the south from Wednesday, and two at Charles De Gaulle in the north by the end of next week.

Regarding 12,000 French nationals stranded in Morocco after the kingdom suspended air links with 21 countries, Djebarri said they were being progressively repatriate.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06