French PM warns of local lockdowns and stricter coronavirus measures
Monday, 12 October 2020
France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex warned of stricter coronavirus measures and possible local lockdowns on Monday.
France is currently in the middle of a second wave of Covid-19 due to the high number of new infections, according to Castex, who called the situation ”very difficult.”
“If the situation continues to deteriorate, additional restrictions will have to be imposed on citizens,” Castex told Franceinfo.
The French authorities reported 27,000 new infections over a 24-hour period on Saturday, a new record since widespread testing has taken place. On Sunday, there were 16 000 new infections.
Large cities such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille currently have the highest alert level. There, bars and places of entertainment that do not sell food had to close for two weeks. For Toulouse and Montpellier, too, the highest alert level is now in place, Castex said.
On the question of whether a new general lockdown is imminent for France, the Prime Minister replied that such a general lockdown should be avoided at all costs in view of the “absolutely dramatic consequences” of such a measure.
“It can be done, if we all make an effort,” he said. However, local lockdowns are a possibility. “Given the situation in our hospitals, we should not rule anything out,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron will give an interview on the TF1 and France 2 channels from 7:55 PM on Wednesday, according to a joint announcement made by the two channels on Monday. During that interview, he will be questioned about the coronavirus situation in France.
France counted a total 734,974 confirmed cases as of Sunday, according to the country’s National Public Health Agency. Belgium, for comparison, has recorded a total of 162,258 confirmed cases as of Monday.