BRITISH nationals will be banned from France if the UK fails to use the same radical coronavirus containment measures being enforced by EU countries.
During a live TV address from Paris on Tuesday evening, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe expressed extreme frustration that Britain was lagging behind in the “war” against the deadly illness.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
“Everyone within the European Union must adopt coherent methods and processes to fight the epidemic, as in Italy, France and Spain,” he said
“‘It goes without saying that if neighbouring states such as the United Kingdom spend too long continuing to avoid these containment measures, then we would have difficulty accepting British nationals who would move freely in their own country and then come to our country.”
Mr Philippe was speaking on the first day of a nationwide lockdown in his own country, which has seen major cities including Paris grind to a halt.
Such a ban will cause huge problems for the millions of British nationals who have professional and personal links with France.
The British make up the biggest foreign visitor group to Paris, which is normally the most popular tourist city in the world.
While restrictions on movement and lifestyle are growing every day in EU countries, post-Brexit Britain is perceived to be lagging behind.
France has ordered bars and restaurants to shut down, for example, while in the UK managers can make their own decision.
On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to put €300billion (£273billion) into “the war against coronavirus”.
There are currently 100,000 police and gendarmes officers enforcing draconian restrictions, which include everybody needing an official document to leave the house.
Fines for anyone caught without these ‘attestations’ will rise to the equivalent of around £118 on Wednesday.
Mr Macron said: “Walking, meeting friends in the park or in the street will no longer be possible.
“It is a question of limiting as much as possible all contact beyond the home. All over French territory, in mainland France as well as overseas, only necessary journeys must remain necessary.”
He said people will only be permitted to leave their homes for necessary trips such as going to work or the supermarket.
However, Macron’s rules are much stricter than that of the UK.
Brits have been told not to leave the house unless necessary and to work from home where possible, and avoid social contact.
From tomorrow, the Government will no longer support mass gatherings either, meaning concerts and all major sporting events are likely to be cancelled.
Cases in the UK have soared to 1,950 and 71 people have now died from the killer bug as the pandemic continues to rampage through the country.
There are currently 7730 people known to infected by Coronavirus in France, while 175 are dead and 400 in intensive care in hospitals which are struggling to cope.
And UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Brits were not to travel anywhere outside the UK for at least 30 days to stop the spread of COVID-19.