Coronavirus: Macron does not rule out a new national lockdown

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French President Emmanuel Macron said “nothing, in theory, can be ruled out” as he spoke to reporters on Friday about the current second wave of coronavirus in the country.“I wouldn’t have learned much from what we went through for eight months if I had said that I totally excluded him,” he said.

France recorded more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections on Friday, up from several hundred a day from the levels recorded in May and June.

This is in part because the number of coronavirus tests has increased, reaching 890,000 per week, with a “short-term” goal set at one million per week by the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

But the rate of positive cases has nonetheless increased to 30 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants in 20% of the country’s regions, a single-digit figure a month ago.

The government also pledged this week to further increase testing capacity – after being criticized for shortages of masks and testing when the virus first ravaged France.

Macron also said he would do everything in his power to prevent a new nationwide lockdown by “learning to live with the virus,” adding that the government is promoting regional measures to stop the outbreaks.

Paris introduced the mandatory mask on Friday, while people across the country will be required to wear masks at work from Tuesday.

“We have to get everyone back to work,” Macron said, in a troubled financial situation that saw France’s GDP drop 13.8% between April and June, according to the national statistics institute INSEE.

At the same time, the government is continuing its plan to send nearly 13 million French students back to school on Tuesday.

The French president also called for more European coordination in terms of travel restrictions, as more and more countries impose restrictions.

“Let’s have the same criteria,” he said. “Let’s not repeat the mistakes of March”.

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