In practice, the measure, which will take effect on Saturday, extends the confinement already implemented in 19 departments in the country to all of France, including that of the Paris region, where hospitals are under pressure because of the growing number of infected patients. by the virus.
“We will lose control if we do not act now,” Macron said in a statement. “This is the best solution to slow down the virus.”
In his speech, Macron stated that no region of France is without risk and that, therefore, it was necessary to expand the lockdown to cover the entire national territory. According to him, 44% of the more than 5,000 people hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU), a number not seen since April last year, are under 65 years of age.
The curfew, implemented in 2020, will remain in effect between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am. Non-essential stores will be closed across France. Schools will also return to remote education for at least three weeks, in a reversal of the strategy adopted during the second national lockdown.
Macron promised to maintain economic support for those who will be affected by the new measures adopted today. The French president had resisted the adoption of a third lockdown since January, but pressure on hospitals and growing criticism from the opposition has pushed him back.
In his speech, the French president highlighted that vaccines represent the main hope for the country to overcome the pandemic and promised, from mid-May, to reopen some cultural establishments with strict rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
“In the coming weeks, we will further accelerate the number of doses we are receiving and will gradually become the first region in the world in terms of vaccine production,” said Macron, recognizing, however, that the vaccination campaign in France is delayed.
Since the start of the pandemic, France has recorded more than 4.64 million cases of covid-19. More than 95,500 people died in the country after being infected by the virus, the eighth worst mark in the world.
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