French face nationwide 6pm curfew to tackle coronavirus

18 Janvier, 2021, 19:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • ‘At 6 p.m., life stops’: Europe uses curfews to fight virus

The French government is trying to avoid a third lockdown with partial measures such as curfews.

"Why make this decision?"

Health authorities recorded 282 new deaths, bringing the toll to 69,313.

The government also plans to test 1 million school pupils a month for the virus, taking into consideration the possibility that the new variant may be more transmissible among children.

According to Education minister Jean Michel Blanquer, it's absolutely imperative to keep schools open on a case by case basis. Indoor sporting activities will be prohibited until further notice. For universities, small groups will gradually return starting on 25 January.

France wants to coordinate a response with the European Union about arrivals from EU countries, he said. Visitors are also expected to self-isolate for 7 days after arriving in France.

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France is uniformly pulling back its Covid-19 curfew to 6pm Saturday in a race against time to vaccinate the population and stop the spread of the disease.

The virus has killed 70,000 people in France, the seventh highest toll in the world, and the government is particularly anxious by the more transmissible variant first detected in Britain, which now accounts for about 1 per cent of new cases.

The new measures were partly motivated by fears that new mutant variants of the virus, first found in Britain and South Africa, would become a dominant spread factor, Castex said.

To speed up a vaccination drive that critics have slammed as too slow compared to France's European neighbours, Castex said people with illnesses making them particularly vulnerable to Covid would have access to vaccinations starting Monday, when "more than 700" vaccination centres would be operational. However, the Prime Minister wanted to stress that the vaccination of the first priority people will take several weeks and the average person may not be able to find a date immediately. "It offers us a prospect of hope". The city in southern France is among the places where the more contagious virus variant has started to flare.

France's Prime Minister said that Denmark and Ireland as well as some other countries, in which the number of COVID-19 infections is continuously increasing would be subject to additional border restrictions, without providing any detailed information in this regard.

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