'Book your October break, but stay vigilant': French state minister for tourism

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Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France's minister of state for tourism, has encouraged people to go ahead and book their October mid-term holidays despite skyrocketing Covid-19 infections, urging travellers to respect hygiene restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

Speaking to the news agency AFP, Lemoyne remarked that the government was doing everything in order that “the tourist season until Christmas can take place.”

“I urge the French to book for the All Saints' Day holidays,” he said after attending a meeting of an inter-ministerial Committee dedicated to the tourism sector.

He said that professionals had reiterated their commitments, made on May 14, that cancelled reservations would cost nothing to the travellers and that health security was in place.

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He added that there was a 50 percent drop in bookings compared to the same time last year. Regarding events and business tourism were still hampered that he hoped to be able to make progress in about two weeks.

Lemoyne’s remarks come the day French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned that France was in a strong second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic and “there can no longer be any relaxation”.

Speaking on French TV last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said the virus had been spreading faster in recent weeks.

“In places where it is spreading too fast, especially where it is spreading among the elderly who are most at risk, and where there are more and more intensive care beds being occupied, we must proceed to more restrictions,” he said.

- with AFP