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- Lockdown in France to be eased from May 11th
- French PM unveils detailed plan to exit lockdown
- 10 million French workers placed on partial unemployment
- Coronavirus death toll in France passes 23,000
- Maps reveal how hard each département in France has been hit
- French police hand out 900,000 fines
What's the latest on the death toll in France?
France tightens rules on entering the country with new 'international travel certificate'
The Attestation de déplacement internationale (international travel certificate) – which can be downloaded here and has a version in English – gives strict definitions of who is allowed into France during lockdown.
The form must be presented at the border, and also before boarding a ferry, train or plane heading to France.
French citizens and their children are allowed back into the country, but foreigners are only allowed in under certain circumstances.
Britons are classed along with EU nationals. The rules for entering are below. For more information read this article.
France's Health Minister Olivier Véran warned the public that anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and cortisone could be an aggravating factor in coronavirus infections.
What is coronavirus?
It's a respiratory illness and actually of the same family as the common cold.
The previously unknown virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan – which is an international transport hub – began at a fish market in late December. The illness has now spread across Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA.
What are the symptoms?
Coronavirus belongs to the same family as colds and flu, and the symptoms are mostly similar (although coronavirus is not a flu) – like cough, headache, fatigue, fever, aching and difficulty breathing.
It is primarily spread through airborne contact or contact with contaminated objects.
Its incubation period is two to 14 days, with an average of seven days.
But it is very different to flu as is it considered far more contagious and the mortality rate could be as much as ten times higher.
France says some 98 percent of patients recover as do 80 percent of those who end up in hospital with severe forms of the virus.
How can I protect myself?
Follow the lockdown rules. This is the best way to avoid the spread of the virus and therefore protect both yourself and the people most vulnerable to the virus – the elderly and people with ongoing health conditions.
French authorities are also asking everyone to practice good basic hygiene;
- Wash hands your thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing or before eating or it you have been touching surfaces that many other people will have touched such as on the Metro
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing
- Use disposable tissues and throw them away after use
- Clean off surfaces with alcohol- or chlorine-based disinfectants.
The French government has set up a “green number” that people can call for any non-medical coronavirus-related questions. The line is open 24/7.
— Gouvernement (@gouvernementFR) February 26, 2020
How dangerous is it?
The World Health Organisation says that only five percent of cases are considered critical, and 80 percent of infected people have only mild symptoms.Some 15 percent of cases see patients develop a serious condition that may need hospital treatment.
The majority of the people who have died were either elderly or had underlying health problems, and health authorities say everyone needs to practice good hygiene in order to protect this group. Visits to retirement homes and long-term care facilities are now banned.
But doctors and the government have repeatedly stressed that young people too can end up in critical condition. France's youngest victim to date was a 28-year-old man from the south of the country.
What should I do if I think I have it?
If you think you have the illness do not go to hospital or your doctor's surgery. French health authorities are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus.
You can call the green number above for advice.
If you have severe symptoms including difficulty breathing, call the ambulance number – 15.
If you are sick but do not need an ambulance, telephone your regular doctor or set up an online consultation. Do not leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary.
Fièvre – fever
Maux de tête – headache
Courbatures – aches
Toux – cough
Difficultés respiratoires – breathing difficulties
Un rhume – a cold
La grippe – the flu
Coronavirus – coronavirus
SAMU – the French ambulance service, or service d'aide médicale urgente, to give them their full name