Ambassador Etienne’s message to French expatriates on American soil [fr]
The Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Etienne, addressed four messages to French expatriates on American soil (Washington, D.C. - 18 March 2020)
My dear compatriots,
Our embassy and our consulates general in the United States are fully mobilized alongside you in order to address the Coronavirus crisis.
I know that that a lot of questions have arisen in the last few days, notably following the announcement regarding restrictions on travel to the United States and then to the EU and the Schengen area.
I would like to convey four messages to you today:
First, I urge all French nationals who are here temporarily in the United States to take, as swiftly as possible, the necessary measures to return to France on the available commercial flights by contacting their airline, notably Air France. Government departments are in close contact with the airlines in order to maintain connections even though it’s true that many commercial flights between France and the United States have been cancelled.
Secondly, for those who have their residence in the United States and who live here, we do not advise you to return to France, unless absolutely necessary. I am counting on each of you to follow the instructions issued by the local American authorities and in particular to take precautionary and social distancing measures.
Thirdly, the consuls general and the teams of the French network in the United States are making every effort to respond to your questions. I am very grateful to them; I am aware of their involvement and strong commitment to helping French citizens here in the United States. Telephone hotlines have been set up in our 10 consulates. Contact information is available on the consulates’ websites.
Lastly, I want to underscore that we are working in close coordination with our European partners following the recent meetings between the leaders of our countries.
In addition, we are working on finding solutions to all of the special situations that arise; I am thinking for example of French students enrolled in American universities.
My dear compatriots, in these difficult circumstances, we stand alongside you. We will do everything we can to provide you with assistance and advice in order to resolve the problems you are currently facing.
We will win this fight by working together and in a spirit of solidarity.