Coronavirus: Man rescued from Pyrenees fined for lockdown breach

Elias Hubbard
April 6, 2020

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A Frenchman defied the country's lockdown due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and headed to the neighbouring nation Spain to buy cheap cigarettes but the planned trip did not have the desired ending.

The local mountain rescue service said the man was found "exhausted, shivering, cold and lost" when he was eventually rescued.

The man, who hasn't been named, initially set off from the city of Perpignan by auto but found his way blocked by police checkpoints.

They added, "The young man left Perpignan by vehicle but was turned back at the border posts between France and Spain as he tried to get to La Jonquera".

He was asked to pay a fine of 135 euros for breaking confinement rules that allow French citizens to leave their homes only for essential reasons, AFP reported. "So he chose to take a path used by walkers, hoping to cross the border in the mountains", they added.

A French mountain rescue team was called out after a man violated quarantine restrictions and attempted to walk to Spain.

"We remind you once more: stay at home", regional police said.

Instead, he chose to walk across the mountains that separate the two countries, only to fall into a stream, then into some brambles before getting lost and deciding to call the emergency services. The man claimed he just wanted some fresh air during the lockdown.

France has been in lockdown since March 17 and will be so at least until April 15 - and probably until May at the earliest. As many as 100,000 police officers are enforcing the order.

Those who go out are required to have a written note explaining why.

The virus has killed 8,078 of the 93,780 people diagnosed with the disease in France as of Monday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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