Shoppers flock to border town of El Pertús as France begins easing lockdown
Police continue to monitor cross-border movement – even within same town
French residents can, as of Monday, travel up to 100 km away from home for non-essential journeys. As a result, the border town of Le Perthus saw an onslaught of shoppers crowd its streets, likely in search of cheaper cigarettes, alcohol or groceries.
The thing is, El Pertús is administratively divided between the French and the Spanish states, and some people in the north cross the border within the town to get lower-priced goods. And under normal circumstances, crossing the border is as simple as walking from one side of the street to the other, but local, Catalan and Spanish police officers have cordoned off the border to regulate entry into establishments on their side.
Many French shoppers were spotted wearing face masks, but given the sheer amount of people waiting to cross the border at once, maintaining a safe distance between people has been tricky: "We're trying to keep everything in order the best we can," a shopkeeper said.