First French nationals repatriated over coronavirus end quarantine

The first group of French nationals repatriated from China due to the coronavirus outbreak returned to the outside world on Friday after two weeks in quarantine.

None of the 181 involved – who had been flown home from Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic – tested positive for the virus, local health officials said.

“There have been no problems …but people are happy that it’s over,” Marc Zyltman, Red Cross head at the southern holiday resort of Carry-Le-Rouet where they were quarantined, told reporters.

A further 157 people remain in quarantine in southern France, of whom 122 will be allowed home on Feb. 16 and the remainder on Feb. 23.

France has recorded 11 cases of the virus, out of a global total of 63,851, of whom the vast majority are in China. The epidemic has killed close to 1,400 people.

Reporting by Marc Leras, Dominique Vidalon; editing by John Stonestreet