France enters 2nd virus lockdown as new cases soar
France will enter a second coronavirus lockdown from Friday midnight, the country’s president announced on Wednesday.
LOCKDOWN WILL NOT AFFECT FRANCE’S OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
The national lockdown will remain in place at least until Dec. 1, Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address to the nation. The announcement came as France reported 36,437 more coronavirus cases on Wednesday, raising the overall count to 1,235,132.
In a 20-minute speech, Macron outlined the restrictions being imposed on various industries and sectors.
Academic institutes, from nursery to university level, will remain open, albeit with stricter health protocols.
All non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, will be closed across the country.
Visits to nursing and retirement homes will not be prohibited, according to the president.
The new measures still have to be approved by lawmakers, who will be briefed by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday.
Castex is scheduled hold a news conference on Thursday evening to give more details about the lockdown. The stricter confinement measures are part of France’s attempts to prevent hospitals from being overloaded.
As it stands, nearly 50% of intensive care units throughout the country are currently occupied, according to official data.