French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the nation to “hold out” for at least another month before the country can think about easing Covid-induced restrictions and the current 6pm curfew.
Speaking with a group of industrial trade trainees on Monday, Macron dismissed, with a smile, the request of a young man to relax France’s 6pm curfew. The president told the students that the nation’s curfew would need to remain in place for another four to six weeks, amid indicators the epidemic is on the rise again in France.
Further measures may be brought in across the 20 departments in France which have already been placed under “reinforced surveillance” owing to the Covid-19 infection rates in those areas. Prime Minister Jean Castex said last week that stricter measures would be introduced on March 6 if the situation worsens.
France is facing a worrying increase in Covid-19 infections across many parts of the country. In an interview with Le Journal de Dimanche (JDD) on Sunday, Jerome Salomon, director-general of public health, said that the more contagious British variant now represented 53 percent of all positive cases.
“The situation is obviously very tense, but the government has taken strong braking measures, notably the curfew, which is working very well,” Salomon said, adding “we can still avoid confinement if everyone is mobilized.”
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Last week, the government reached agreements with local authorities to implement localized lockdowns in Nice and Dunkirk, the latter experiencing an infection rate of 901 cases per 100,000 people.
Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire also submitted a proposal for a three-week citywide lockdown in the capital, claiming that the current curfew measures are “not enough to settle the curve.”
As of February 27, close to 3 million people in France had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. By comparison, more than 20 million people have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine in the UK.
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