France has criticised Boris Johnson‘s slow response to coronavirus and said it could ban British nationals if the UK does not implement containment measures in line with the rest of the continent.
Across Europe countries have ordered the shutdown of bars, restaurants, cafes, schools and cultural institutions like cinemas, with many imposing restrictions on unnecessary travel.
But in the UK the government has taken a soft-touch approach and only belatedly issued advice to avoid gatherings and travel – which seems to have gone unheeded by many. It has imposed few if any actual restrictions.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe accused the UK of not doing its part in the “war” on the virus, stating: “Everyone within the European Union must adopt coherent methods and processes to fight the epidemic, as in Italy, France and Spain.
“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.”
Even in the Netherlands, where prime minister Mark Rutte warned in a major speech to the nation that a full Italy-style lockdown with movement restrictions is not the way to go, schools, bars and restaurants have been shut down, as well as most events.
Read more: The Independent