Schools closed as partial lockdown extended across whole of France

A partial lockdown already in place in Paris will be extended across the whole of France, President Emmanuel Macron has announced, with schools to close and travel restrictions imposed.

It means a nightly curfew and a ban on going more than 10 kilometres from home.

The measures are part of the effort to fight a third wave of COVID-19, with the country seeing tens of thousands of cases each day and hundreds of deaths.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, in which he warned “the epidemic is accelerating”, Macron announced colleges, schools, nurseries and creches will be closed for three weeks.

The curfew running from 7pm to 6am remains in place.about:blank

A debate is scheduled in parliament Thursday that will address the virus situation and the new measures.SPONSORED CONTENTIs now the right time for businesses to embrace solar power?The world’s demand for power has increased by 85% in the last 20 years, with production responsible for about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.Ad by Total 

Parts of France already under a partial lockdown

The French president has been criticised for his reluctance to issue tougher virus measures as infections have soared in the country due to the spread of more transmissible variants.

Nineteen areas of France had been put under a partial lockdown in recent weeks, which includes a nighttime curfew. It allows people to leave their homes during the day within ten kilometres, without a justification form.

In the past day, France recorded 30,000 new virus infections and 337 deaths. An expert recently told Euronews that more younger people were now dying from COVID-19.

The new measures therefore mark a departure from the previous tactic of targeting restrictions to specific areas suffering from high case numbers. Flourish chart

Scientific council had called for strict lockdown in January

A report from France’s scientific council of experts had laid out the argument in favour of a strict four-week lockdown during the month of February, emphasising that it would buy the country time to vaccinate faster and test for new variants.

“If the lockdown is delayed by one week, it will require one additional week to reach the objective of 5,000 infections,” the scientific council pointed out.

They warned that if virus infections were not stemmed “we risk being faced with epidemic peaks similar to those observed in March-April and November 2020.”

They said that in countries with high levels of the more transmissible variants, the only way to reduce infections was through a tough lockdown.

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