France is to close its borders to all those wishing to enter France from outside of the EU. According to the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, this is necessary. However, all those entering France from the EU will need proof that they are COVID negative. However, commuters that need to cross the border into France for work, will be allowed to.
However, UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, clarified this by saying hauliers will not be affected. In other words, those taking goods into France from the UK, notably, hauliers will not be affected by the ban.
All large Shopping centres in France are also to be closed, also, travel to France's oversea's territories will be restricted. The UK has a record number of rolling out the vaccine and has so far, inoculated 7,891,184 people. France in comparison is having problems distributing the vaccines, but, has managed to vaccinate 1.45 million of its people.
75,000 people have died due to the virus and 60% of France's hospital beds are now occupied. Controlling who enters the country, shutting down shopping centres, etc, will allow France to avoid a third lockdown, according to Mr Castex.
However, France's chief scientist and an expert on the virus has said, despite these measures, a third lockdown is inevitable. Once again, as in the UK, we have the example of a politician saying one thing and a scientist, saying something else.
France has the 7th highest death rate in the world but in comparison to the UK, that is far smaller.
The UK has crossed the threshold of 100,000 dead now, thanks to the virus. The UK right now is going through another lockdown itself. It would appear the rate of death/infection is coming down and even the hospital rate of death/infection would appear to be coming down. However, the NHS is just about coping with the rate of COVID patients it is being asked to manage. Many NHS staff are working flat out, in the truest sense of the word. Many are off work with COVID themselves or are so exhausted, they need time to rest and recuperate. The roll-out of the vaccine in the UK is at least one success, for this government and the number of people inoculated, is also, to be praised. However, that said, this government has been slow to act and always playing catchup when it comes to the COVID crisis, in most cases.
The European Union has been asking Astra-Zenica, the drug developed in the UK, together with Oxford University, for supplies. As stated in this article, France and other EU nations, like Germany, have had trouble with the supply and demand of the vaccines. The European Union, however, is in a spat with Astra-Zenica about supplying the Pfizer drug to Europe. Astra-Zenica has replied that right now, its priority is the UK and has received backing from the UK government. It would seem then, that this matter, is going to be settled legally.
Finally, many countries around the world, especially, the UK could learn an example, from New Zealand. They seem to have a Prime Minister in Jacinda Arden, who genuinely cares for her people and especially, during the pandemic. New Zealand sealed its borders when the true horror of COVID was realised. This action saved many lives and so their infection and death rate was small. This is largely the case today, although nothing is full proof, the record of how New Zealand has handled the COVID crisis, speaks for itself.