French President closes borders to countries outside Europe; extends Covid-19 restrictions

The leader of France said he wants to make wearing a mask in public common practice.
French President closes borders to countries outside Europe; extends Covid-19 restrictions
The French President made the announcement tonight in an address to the nation. File picture.

With reporting from Press Association.

The French President Emmanuel Macron has said France will close its borders to countries outside Europe.

He is extending pandemic lockdown measures until the May 11 -- when schools, creches and other public spaces may be allowed to reopen.

By then, he said, every citizen should be able to get a face mask.

In a national address broadcast tonight, President Macron said he wants to make wearing a mask in public common practice.

In the UK, the British Government is not expected to announce any plans to relax or lift the coronavirus lockdown in the UK later this week.

Britain's foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said while there are some "positive signs" from the latest figures - they are still not past the peak.

A further 717 coronavirus patients have died in UK hospitals, taking the total to more than 11,300.

But the true figure is thought to be higher because of the way the stats are collected.

Meanwhile, the Spanish death toll has fallen again to 517 people in the last 24 hours.

The rate of coronavirus infection has also dropped to 4,167.

The country also began to slightly ease restrictions today with manufacturing and construction businesses allowed to reopen.

Some health experts and regional politicians argue that it is premature to ease any part of the lockdown order.

Police in Madrid handed out face masks to the few commuters taking public transportation to work in the early hours of Monday.

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