France will impose a night curfew, from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., from Saturday, in several large metropolises including Paris, in order to stop the second wave of the coronavirus which hits the country, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday.
“The curfew will last four weeks and we will go to Parliament to extend it until December 1. Six weeks is the time that seems useful to us,” said the head of state in an interview televised, specifying that the measure would come into effect on Saturday at midnight.
In addition to Paris and its region, eight large metropolises are concerned: Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne, Rouen and Toulouse.
In practice, restaurants, bars, theaters and cinemas will therefore have to close at 9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT).
“We will no longer leave the restaurant after 9 pm, we will no longer go to friends’ houses to party, because we know that this is where we contaminate ourselves the most,” said the head of state.
Offenders are liable to a fine of 135 euros.
Video: “We have it until the summer of 2021 at least with this virus”, warns Emmanuel Macron (Le Figaro)
Click here to enlarge
During the day, however, everyday life shouldn’t really change.
“We will continue to work, our economy needs it, we need it, our children will continue to go to school”, explained Emmanuel Macron.
There will also be no travel restrictions in the country, announced the head of state.
Mr. Macron also urged the French to limit their private gatherings to “six people maximum”.
After a first wave that killed 30,000 people in the spring, France is facing a sharp upsurge in the epidemic. A third of the country’s intensive care spaces are occupied by patients with a severe form of Covid-19.
“We have not lost control”, repeated the head of state twice, acknowledging however that the situation was “worrying”.