In a televised interview on Wednesday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the declaration of a public health state of emergency, also announcing local curfews in Paris and eight other cities, as the country is struggling with a massive surge in COVID-19 cases.
The new measures, that include a curfew between 9pm and 6am in Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse will come into effect on midnight Saturday and will be in place for four weeks, with the possibility of a two-week extension, if the parliament green-lights the move.
No restrictions will be imposed on public transport and citizens will still be able to travel between French regions unimpeded, however, they should forget about going to restaurants or visiting friends after 9 pm, while anyone out during curfew should have a “good reason.” For those violating the night curfew, an €135 fine could be imposed.
While citing that the country had not “lost control” of the virus, Macron said the situation is “worrying” as the country is undergoing its second Coronavirus wave.
“The situation is worrying but not out of control. We are in a second wave that is happening all across Europe,” Macron said, adding that the measures aim at reducing the number of daily infections to around 3,000 and that a nationwide lockdown would be “disproportionate.”
Earlier in the day, the French government had declared a public health state of emergency, giving authorities the power to adopt stricter measures if needed. It did not detail, however, the measures, as Macron would unveil the new restrictions later on.
Only on Wednesday France reported 22,951 new COVID-19 cases, with the country’s intensive care units being under unsustainable pressure.