A curfew from 9 pm to 6 am will be implemented in the greater Paris region and eight other big cities in France starting from Friday (16 October) midnight, and it will last for at least four weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday (14 October).
"A curfew will apply to the Ile-de-France region...and eight metropolitan areas -- Grenoble, Lille, Rouen, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Montpellier and Rouen," Macron said in a televised interview, Xinhua news agency reported.
France has been in a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic with an average of 20,000 new infection cases per day. "We have now entered a phase to which we must react... The virus is everywhere in France," Macron added.
The situation is worrying and the curfew is a "pertinent" measure while having the whole country locked down again would be "disproportionate", he explained.
"We have not lost control. We are in a situation which is worrying and which justifies that we are neither inactive nor in panic. We have learned from the first wave," Macron said.
The curfew does not ban driving between 9 pm to 6 am, but travel will be strictly limited unless with good reasons.
"We must continue to be able to go to work in all sectors," said Macron. "For those who have emergencies, health for example, there will be authorisations."
Prime Minister Jean Castex will address a press conference on Thursday to unveil details of these measures, Macron added.
It should be noted that many nations in Europe including Germany, Ireland and Netherlands have been witnessing a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and have imposed restrictions to curb the new infections.
Italy, which was one of the hardest hit country during the first wave of the epidemic, is also witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases with 7,332 new cases on Wednesday -- the highest daily count the European country has yet seen.
(With inputs from IANS)
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