Third Covid-19 lockdown in France from today: everything you need to know
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a third national lockdown as of Saturday due to the surge in cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The decision came amid strong criticism from other European countries who said France decided not to face a third lockout in early January despite being severely affected by the virus, while they were.
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The lockdown is aimed at stemming the Covid-19 crisis and easing pressure on hospitals in hotspots that are overwhelmed due to the new outbreak. In a televised address to the nation, Macron also stressed the need to vaccinate everyone faster. “We will do everything to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! Without rest, without holidays. Saturday and Sunday as during the week,” he said.
France reported 46,677 new cases on Friday, 6.2% more than a week ago, bringing the total to 4.74 million cases. It also reported 332 new deaths from Covid-19, bringing the toll to 96,280.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new restrictions:
1. Due to the lockdown, non-essential stores across the country will be closed for the next four weeks.
2. Schools will be closed but university students will still be allowed to take classes one day a week.
3. Outdoor activities will be limited to places less than 10 km from people’s homes.
4. Alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in parks and other outdoor public spaces.
5. Macron, however, did not completely ban people from socializing and allowing travel between regions over the Easter weekend.
6. If one is to travel during the 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew hours, or for trips over 10 kilometers, a certificate will be required, Macron told Citizens in his speech on Wednesday.
7. An order to set up thousands of temporary intensive care beds in pressurized hospitals was also passed and parliament approved it on Thursday, according to the AP news agency.