“We must act”: Macron orders curfew to contain COVID | France


President Emmanuel Macron has ordered a nighttime curfew for Paris and eight other French cities in order to contain the growing spread of the coronavirus in the country.In a television interview on Wednesday, Macron said residents of those towns would not be allowed outside between 9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) and 6:00 a.m. (04:00 GMT) from Saturday, for at least four weeks, except for reasons essential.

“We need to act. We need to curb the spread of the virus, ”Macron said, adding that the measure would prevent people from visiting restaurants and private homes in the late evening and at night.

He said daily new cases of coronavirus were to be reduced to “3,000 or 5,000” from current levels, which have reached nearly 27,000.

Besides Paris and its region, the measures are imposed on Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Étienne and Toulouse, Macron said.

“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.”

Anyone found outside during curfew without special permission could face a fine of 135 euros ($ 159), Macron said.

“We are in a worrying situation,” Macron said, while insisting that France had not “lost control” of the virus and that a second full lockdown, like the measure two months earlier this year, would be “disproportionate”.

Macron said the government would make full short-term work allowances available to all employees in industries such as catering who are affected by the new measures.

Authorities are also reportedly working with cultural businesses such as cinemas and theaters to try to find a way for them to continue operating by changing their schedules, he said.

Macron called on citizens to apply all hygiene measures, even in private and with friends, including wearing masks during family gatherings.

“The message I want to send tonight is that I need each of you, we need each other, to find solutions.

“We will emerge stronger because we will be more united,” he said. “We’re going to get through this, together.”


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