A curfew has been imposed in France Paris and eight other cities from Saturday.
“We have to act. “We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus,” President Emanuel Macron said in a TV appearance, adding that the curfew would be in effect for at least four weeks, excluding the necessary reasons.
“We will deal with this virus at least by the summer of 2021,” Macron said, adding that “all scientists” agreed on that point.
Other major French cities, such as Lyon, the Mediterranean port of Marseille and southwestern Toulouse, will impose curfews in a way that affects about 20 million people, out of a total population of about 67 million.
Macron said new daily coronavirus cases should be brought down to “3,000 or 5,000” from current levels, which have risen to about 27,000.
“We won’t be leaving the restaurant after 9pm,” Macron said. “We will not party with friends, because we know that the risk of contamination is the highest.”
Just minutes before Macron’s announcement, his government said it would prolong the state of health crisis, giving officials more power to impose new measures to stop the spread of the epidemic.
He urged people to limit gatherings in their homes to six people and wear protective masks on such occasions.
Anyone found to be out during a curfew without privileges will face a fine of 135 euros (9 159) and a fine of more than 10 times for repeat offenders.
Maron Crone said 326% of France’s intens intensive care units are currently occupied by coronavirus patients, a proportion that needs to be brought to a “maximum 10 to 15%”.