France Extends Lockdown Nationwide Amid Rising COVID Figures

France Extends Lockdown Nationwide Amid Rising COVID Figures

French President Macron has announced that regional lockdown measures will be extended to the entire country for at least one month. Otherwise, France would “lose control,” he said in a televised address.

In view of the third corona wave, a nationwide lockdown is being imposed in France. President Emmanuel Macron announced the requirements already in force in 19 administrative districts would be extended to the whole country for four weeks on Wednesday.

Schools will close after one week of nationwide distance learning, followed by two weeks of spring break. Action is needed as the pandemic accelerates, Macron said. A curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. should remain in place. “We will lose control if we do nothing now,” said the president.

The French government had recently focused on regional restrictions. School closings were considered the last choice. A debate is planned for Thursday in the French parliament to deal with the virus situation and the new measures. It is the first time in the current school year that schools in France are closed due to Corona.

Macron admitted to having “made mistakes” in overcoming the health crisis and having “learned”. “At every stage of this epidemic, we could tell ourselves that we could have done better, that we made mistakes. All of this is true,” said the president. “But I know one thing: we have learned, and we have got better every time.”

In France, it had been speculated that Macron would turn to his compatriots again because of the tense situation. Most recently, Prime Minister Jean Castex had announced further restrictions on several occasions. Schools in France have so far only been closed during the first strict lockdown last spring. After that, Macron insisted on keeping this open as long as possible.

The corona situation in France has worsened again significantly. Hospitals in the greater Paris area, in particular, raised the alarm because the intensive care units were overcrowded. The number of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week was recently a good 375 nationwide. In the country with around 67 million inhabitants, more than 95,000 people.

(Image: Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0)

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