Disappointing announcement, harsh reality.
Today's news: Wed, March 31, 2021, 12:29 PM
PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday night ordered France into its third national lockdown
and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. His announcement means that movement restrictions already in place for more than a week in Paris, and some northern and southern regions, will now apply to the whole country for at least a month, from Saturday.
Snipets from his national address:
As to the future:
"Seeking to offer hope, Macron said the April lockdown and a swifter vaccination campaign may allow the slow re-opening of the country from mid-May, starting with some cultural venues, museums and the outdoor terraces of bars and restaurants." 'under strict rules' and a calendar drawn up for a progressive reopening of other facilities.
From Saturday, all of mainland France
will be under a 7 p.m. curfew, working from home will be expected from those that can, with domestic travel restricted and gatherings will be limited, non-essential shops will be closed, and travel restrictions will be imposed.
This brings the whole country in line with 19 virus hot-spot territories, and cities like Paris, which have had a limited lockdown imposed for the past two weeks.
'The epidemic is accelerating, and we are likely to lose control, so we must find a new way of reacting. We must therefore set ourselves a new framework for the coming months,'
the 'British variant' for creating 'a pandemic inside a pandemic' that was more contagious and 'more deadly.'
We are faced with a new situation,' he said. 'We are involved in a race
. Propagation of a new variant that was identified by our British neighbours' must be dealt with.'
efforts to limit the virus 'were too limited at a time when the epidemic is accelerating'. The spread of the variant meant 'we risk losing control'
"Thanks to the vaccine, the way out of the crisis is emerging,' Macron announced that the vaccine drive would be open to all those over 60 from April 16 and those over 50 from May 15.
The president said non-essential shops would remain shut, along with businesses such as cafes, bars, and restaurants. The French finance ministry said the new lockdown would see 150,000 businesses close nationwide,
Under the restrictions, people are allowed to go outside for leisure, but only within a 6 miles radius from their homes - and without gathering.