instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

Au revoir for now! Parisians flee city to beat coronavirus lockdown

Le great escape: People in face masks wait to leave Paris ahead of  the noon deadline PICTURE: REUTERS

PARISIANS staged a mass exodus out of the French capital yesterday in a bid to beat a nationwide lockdown.

There were chaotic scenes at major railway stations, including Gare du Nord, as crowds, with many people in masks, waited for trains to the provinces while others ignored pleas not to panic buy in shops and supermarkets.

It came after president Emmanuel Macron imposed a noon deadline for citizens to stay in lockdown or risk fines following 6,600 coronavirus cases and at least 175 deaths.

One pensioner, loading his car before heading to a house 60 miles away, said: ‘Better to be there than cooped up in the apartment.’ Elsewhere, Spain saw infections surge by another 2,000 cases in 24 hours — to 11,178, double the previous day’s rise — with deaths up by 182 to 491.

Germany followed border closures on Monday with a £45million fund to help bring home stranded tourists overseas. Greece suspended school classes and group activities in crowded migrant camps while barring non-essential staff.

Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are imposing identity checks in the passport-free Schengen zone.