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Traffic jam extends over 900km in France

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Vehicles are pictured in a traffic jam along the A-7 highway on the summer vacation route near Pont-de-l'Isere in central eastern France. (Photo by AFP)

French motorists have been trapped in heavy traffic jams as summer holidaymakers head to mountain resorts and the seaside for vacation.

The country’s massive traffic jam on roads extended to its peak reaching 917 kilometers long at noon on Saturday.

Officials said they were expecting many trips over the weekend due to vacationers taking advantage of an extended holiday.

The traffic situation was notably announced as "very difficult" in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and on the Mediterranean arc.

“In this context of heavy traffic, motorists are advised to avoid driving on Saturday and to postpone their journey to Sunday,” the public service had recommended.

Meanwhile, this Saturday's traffic will not equal that of last Saturday.

Midday last Saturday, traffic jams reached a peak of 1,082 kilometers.

That peak, however, failed to break the 2021 record of 1,086.5 kilometers of traffic jams in the country.

In the meantime, the COVID pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the tourism industry in the European Union.

Young people, in particular, bore the brunt of the hardships as hotels, restaurants and retail businesses lost workers and revenues due to the COVID crisis.

However, after two years of pandemic restrictions and health concerns, tourism operators are seeing a steady return of business this summer.

Despite the heavy traffic, Monday is expected to be the second biggest weekend of the summer in terms of passengers’ numbers, with millions of French holidaymakers taking cars, buses and trains to reach their local vacation destinations across France.

Monday marks the Feast of the Assumption, a holiday widely celebrated in many countries with large Christian populations.

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