France puts Paris and eight other cities on curfew at 9 p.m. as 18 million people hit strict lockdown to fight second wave of Covid

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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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President Emmanuel Macron said curfews will come into effect from SaturdayCredit: Rex Features
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Cyclists pass by the Au Chat Noir bar in Paris ahead of tighter restrictions on Saturday

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Cyclists pass by the Au Chat Noir bar in Paris ahead of tighter restrictions on SaturdayCredit: Reuters

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.

“WORRYING SITUATION”

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.

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.

A man passes a bar as he closes in Paris

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A man passes a bar as he closes in ParisCredit: AP: Associated Press
Macron said France had not lost control of the virus but said 'we are in a worrying situation'

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Macron said France had not lost control of the virus but said ‘we are in a worrying situation’Credit: Rex Features

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A waiter seen wearing a face mask in a cafe in Paris

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A waiter seen wearing a face mask in a cafe in ParisCrédits: Getty Images – Getty
A Parisian walks past the famous Au Chat Noir bar

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A Parisian walks past the famous Au Chat Noir bar Credit: AFP or licensors

Paris will completely close ALL bars for two weeks and raise Covid alert to maximum after 12,565 cases across France



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