FRANCE will impose a 9 p.m. curfew on Paris and eight other cities in an effort to fight a “second wave” of coronavirus, it was announced tonight.
President Emmanuel Macron said the curfew would start on Saturday and would be in place for four weeks between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
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The strict State of Emergency measure was applied to Paris, Lille, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier.
And this decision will affect around 18 million people.
All bars, restaurants, theaters and similar businesses will be forced to close at 9 p.m. sharp from Saturday – but a full nationwide lockdown is not expected.
“We are in a second wave,” Macron said in an interview with national television.
” We have to react. ”
France reported 22,591 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, the third time in six days the daily tally has exceeded the 20,000 threshold.
More than 32,000 people have now died from the virus in France.
Macron said the country had not lost control of the virus, but added: “We are in a worrying situation.”
He said: “It is also worrying in other European countries, such as Germany which is also taking restrictive measures.
“Spain and the Netherlands are also in a very worrying situation and have taken very restrictive measures in recent days. ”
Those under curfew should forget about nightly visits to restaurants or friends’ homes, although essential travel during the curfew is still allowed, Macron said.
Anyone breaking the curfews would also be fined 135 euros.
There will be no restrictions on public transport and people will still be able to travel between regions without restrictions.
Family reunions, however, should be limited to a maximum of six people.
A state of health emergency in France had already been declared in March in response to the spiral of infections during the first wave of Covid-19.
Mr Macron said this state of emergency was now on the verge of being reintroduced, along with the other tougher measures, from Saturday.
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He has been tracking the number of Covid-19 infections which increased to 26,896 in 24 hours on Saturday – a record since widespread testing began.
Macron said the goal was to reduce the current rate of 20,000 new cases per day to around 3,000 and significantly reduce the burden on intensive care units in hospitals.
“We will be fine,” the president said.