France has announced a month-long limited lockdown for Paris and other fifteen regions of the country starting Friday midnight, March 19.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex made the announcement on Thursday following reports of spikes in the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units.
The Lockdown is limited meaning that while non-essential businesses will close and movement outside restricted in the affected regions, Schools and essential shops, including bookstores, will remain open.
Addressing a news conference, Castex added that Outdoor exercises will be allowed up to 10 kilometres from home while the curfew will also be reduced, starting at 7pm from Friday.
The announcement comes on the week of the country’s one-year anniversary its first nationwide lockdown and Castex said it was becoming clear the country was facing a third wave of the corona virus.
National figures for daily infections had remained steady at around 20,000 a day in February, but new cases have risen 20 percent in the last week alone.
The country’s second lockdown in November spared schools, although France never fully achieved its goal of bringing new infections down to under 5,000 per day.
Macron had strongly argued against a third national lockdown, and instead advised on enforcing local restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus and rising numbers of the more contagious British variant.