Man under lockdown crosses mountains to buy cigarettes

07 Avril, 2020, 01:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • France has been in lockdown since March 17

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.

"He fell in a stream, then into brambles, got lost and finally contacted the rescue services", it said.

He had first been caught by police on Saturday trying to drive the 20 miles from his home in Perpignan on the French Mediterranean coast to the Spanish village of La Jonquera in Catalonia, where cigarettes are considerably cheaper.

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 left the French city of Perpignan by vehicle and was turned back at the border controls between France and Spain, according to a Facebook post by French police.

Local authorities sent a helicopter to fetch him, and when they found him he was apparently "shivering and exhausted".

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Rescuers said the man was quickly located and airlifted by helicopter to a security facility back in Perpignan.

The man was fined the equivalent of $146 for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules, which are being strictly enforced in France as the pandemic ravages Europe.

Under lockdown rules in France, people can only leave home for exceptional reasons and with a letter explaining why.

"Once again, we remind you: STAY AT HOME", the gendarmes posted.

He said any decision "will take into account, above all, the public health considerations".

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