French President Macron orders curfew in Paris and other major cities to curb Covid-19 spread

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PARIS (REUTERS) – France will impose a nightly curfew on almost one third of the country’s 67 million people to tackle a resurgent coronavirus, but a new national lockdown is not envisaged, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday (Oct 14).

Macron announced the curfews, which will take effect from Saturday and run from 9pm to 6am local time the following morning, shortly after the government declared a new public health state of emergency.

The president said curfews would be imposed in the greater Paris region, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and five other cities.

“We have to react,” Macron said in an interview on national television.

Macron said France had not lost control of the virus, but added: “We are in a worrying situation.”

France reported 22,591 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the third time in six days the daily tally has gone beyond the 20,000 threshold.

The virus has claimed more than 32,000 lives in France. The state of emergency hands officials greater powers to impose new restrictions.

The French government previously declared a public health state of emergency in March this year, when hospitalisations caused by the pandemic were near their peak.

At the time, the authorities used their extra powers to order people to stay at home except for essential work, buying food or taking one hour of daily exercise.

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