French Prime Minister Castex extends Covid-19 curfew to 38 other departments as cases rise


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                Six jours après l'entrée en vigueur des couvre-feux dans le Grand Paris et dans huit autres régions métropolitaines, le Premier ministre français Jean Castex a annoncé de nouvelles mesures pour endiguer la propagation du coronavirus alors que les cas augmentent à travers le pays.

                                    <p>Quelques heures après l'annonce des nouvelles mesures, la France a enregistré 41 622 nouveaux cas de Covid-19 au cours des dernières 24 heures, un nouveau record quotidien.

“The second wave is here” and “the situation is serious,” Castex said at a press conference on Thursday when announcing the extension of the coronavirus curfew measures to 38 other administrative departments across France.

The new measures are expected to take effect at midnight on Friday. The prime minister said the curfew would now affect a total of 46 million people, or two-thirds of the French population, and would include some overseas territories.

“Obviously the coming weeks will be difficult, our hospital services will be tested,” Castex said.

The prime minister said curfew measures would remain in place for six weeks, adding that the situation would be assessed next week and curfew rules could be tightened if necessary.

“If we fail to stop the pandemic, we will be faced with a dire situation and we will have to consider much tougher measures,” Castex said. “We still have time to avoid this, but we don’t have a lot of time,” he added.

<div class="m-em-image">
The French government map of all administrative services that will be subject to a Covid-19 curfew from midnight Friday, including those already affected by the measures announced last week. © French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Twitter (@JeanCastex)
    </div>Un couvre-feu nocturne de 21h à 6h est entré en vigueur samedi à minuit à Paris et ses services administratifs environnants ainsi que dans huit autres agglomérations - Aix-Marseille, Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Toulouse, Lille, Montpellier, Rouen et Grenoble - en réponse aux nouvelles infections quotidiennes atteignant des niveaux records.  Ces couvre-feux concernaient déjà quelque 20 millions de Français.

Residents must upload a certificate for permitted after-hours activities – such as traveling to or from work, for medical treatment, to visit a dependent relative or to walk a dog.

Those who do not comply risk a fine of € 135, while repeat offenders risk fines of up to € 3,750. Some 12,000 police and gendarmes, in addition to municipal police teams, were deployed to enforce the initial curfews.

Castex said on Thursday that it would be possible next week to see whether previously announced curfews start to have an effect on the spread of the virus.

The French departments to be subject to the new curfew measures are: Ain, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ardennes, Ariège, Aube, Aveyron, Bas-Rhin, Calvados, Corse du Sud, Côte-d’Or, Drôme, Gard, Haute -Corse, Haute-Loire, Haute-Savoie, Haute-Vienne, Hautes-Alpes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Ille-et-Vilaine, Indre-et-Loire, Jura, Loiret, Lozère, Maine-et-Loire, Marne, Meurthe -et-Moselle, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pyrénées-Orientales, Saône-et-Loire, Savoie, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Var, and Vaucluse. Further afield, French Polynesia will also be affected by the curfew.

The French Ministry of Health on Saturday reported a record number of new confirmed cases at 32,427, surpassing the 32,000 mark for the first time, while the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care exceeded 2,000 on Monday for the first time since May. The country reported 166 hospital deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, bringing the French toll since the start of the epidemic to more than 34,000.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)



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