French man rescued trying to cross the Pyrenees to buy cheap cigarettes during coronavirus lockdown

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A French man required a helicopter rescue after he broke the country's coronavirus lockdown orders and tried walking through the Pyrenees mountains so he could buy cheap cigarettes in Spain, according to reports.

The unnamed man had left his home in Perpignan, a commune in southwest France, and attempted to drive 20 miles south to the Spanish border town Jonquera, the French mountain rescue service wrote Saturday on Facebook.

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Near the border, he found the road blocked by police checkpoints and was turned around.

The man then decided to try crossing the border on foot. He was following a hiking trail through the mountain when he fell into a stream and some brambles, got lost and called for help.

A French mountain rescue team was called out after a man violated quarantine restrictions and attempted to walk to Spain.

A French mountain rescue team was called out after a man violated quarantine restrictions and attempted to walk to Spain. (PGHM of the Pyrénées-Orientales)

Rescuers quickly located the man, whom they described as “exhausted, shivering, cold and lost,” and airlifted him to Perpignan.

Despite his ordeal, the man was fined 135 euros for defying the quarantine measures.

"We remind you once more: stay at home,” regional police said.

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Last month, a "bored" Frenchman was fined after authorities caught him violating quarantine orders by piloting a plane. The man claimed he just wanted some fresh air during the lockdown.

France imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 17. The orders, like many others in countries around the world, are an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order prevents some 66 million French from going outside except to buy food and medicines, visiting the doctor and traveling for essential work. As many as 100,000 police officers are enforcing the order.

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Those who go out are required to have a written note explaining why.

The virus has killed 8,078 of the 93,780 people diagnosed with the disease in France as of Monday.