Friday, 3 Jul 2020

French quarantine islands return to use outside port of Marseille

On France’s Frioul archipelago, there’s an eerie sense that history is repeating itself.

The Mediterranean islands 4 kilometers off the teeming southern port city of Marseille served as a quarantine center during deadly epidemics in centuries past, helping to shield the French mainland from infection.

Now, amid the coronavirus lockdown and with no tourists, the few residents on the islands again feel cut off, left to fend largely for themselves.

“We are not experiencing quite the same quarantine as Frioul has seen in its past, but people are definitely afraid of this virus,” said Patrick Tellier, the only nurse on the archipelago that once housed sick crews during the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720 and in 1821 during a yellow fever epidemic.

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