France weighs in on weekend lockdown in Paris

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France weighs in on weekend lockdown in Paris


Photographer: Nathan Laine / Bloomberg

France is considering tighter restrictions for the economically powerful Paris region to contain the coronavirus.

Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex declined to be specific, but said deteriorating indicators pushed the government to work on a possible lockdown over the weekends. The government will discuss possible restrictions at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Castex said.

“The time has come to consider measures,” he said in an interview with BFM TV. “The situation in the Paris region is at a very precarious balance.”

The French capital has been under a nighttime curfew since mid-January with cafes, restaurants, bars and theaters closed in a bid to contain a resurgence in the infection rate.

But the infection rate still climbed. More than 400 people out of 100,000 in the Paris region tested positive last week, a threshold that Castex called alarming. Intensive care units in and around the capital are now almost full, forcing the state to transfer patients to other hospitals in the country.

France, like other countries, is counting on vaccines to bring the pandemic under control, but the suspension of the AstraZeneca Plc fired after health scare raises strategy doubts.

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