“We’re going to have to deal with this virus at least until the summer of 2021,” Macron said, saying “all scientists” were in agreement on this point.
Other large French cities like Lyon, the Mediterranean port of Marseille and southwest Toulouse will also impose curfews, with around 20 million people affected in total, out of a total population of around 67 million.
Macron said daily new cases of the coronavirus must be reduced to “3,000 or 5,000”, from current levels, which have reached nearly 27,000.
“We won’t be leaving the restaurant after 9 p.m.,” Macron said. “We won’t be partying with friends because we know that’s where the risk of contamination is greatest.”
Minutes before Macron’s announcement, his government said it would extend the state of health emergency, giving officials greater powers to impose new measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.
He urged people to limit gatherings in their homes to six people and wear protective masks on such occasions.
Anyone outside during curfew without special permission would face a fine of 135 euros ($ 159), and more than 10 times that amount for repeat offenders, Macron said.
Macron said that 32% of the 5,000 intensive care places in France were currently occupied by coronavirus patients, a proportion that was to be reduced to “10 to 15% at most”.