Faced with the mutation of SARS-CoV-2, the hour is dark in Europe. As a new variant of coronavirus has been spreading across the United-Kingdom for a few days, European countries, including France are trying to react quickly and deliver news as transparent as possible. This Monday December 21, 2020, a few days before Christmas, the French Health Minister says on Europe 1 “The virus is likely to spread in France” even though so far, no case has been reported in the country.
Le #COVID19 peut muter, comme tout virus. En 🇬🇧, un variant circule beaucoup. Les scientifiques pensent que les tests et le vaccin restent efficaces, et que la maladie reste la même. Mais il pourrait être plus contagieux. Par précaution, nous fermons donc les frontières. @Europe1 pic.twitter.com/A0VnAuR4Q9— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) December 21, 2020
Tweet reads: “#Covid19 can mutate, like any virus. In [the UK], a variant is spreading a lot. Scientists think tests and vaccine remain effectives and the disease remain the same. But it might be more contagious. As a precaution, we close the borders”.
Therefore, “precautionary principle does apply” with the United Kingdom and all trips between France and the UK are halted for 48 hours from last night at midnight. As Olivier Véran explains: “this is the same virus, but which genetic code has been a bit altered” that has appeared in south-eastern England. Furthermore, this “variant of the virus has been identified in an area of the English territory where the epidemic has surged more importantly” Véran underlines.
According to Emmanuel Macron – who addressed the matter right before the Ministerial Council – “we must be particularly careful” about the mutation of the virus. “It shows the complexity of the virus, its aggressivity, and dare I say its inventiveness and the humility we must always show” the French President affirms. Furthermore, other members of the European Union have closed their borders to the United-Kingdom as a precaution. A crisis meeting is planned today between the state members.