French President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of more restrictive measures on Wednesday, warning “we are in a worrying situation that means we must neither panic nor do nothing at all.”
With 1,633 patients in intensive care in France, a curfew will be established from Saturday (17 October) in the Ile-de-France region and eight metropolitan areas (Grenoble, Lille, Lyons, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne).
The shutdown will be effective between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am and will remain in force for as long as six weeks. Restaurants, bars and theatres will be closed from 9pm.
While going back into lockdown would be “disproportionate” according to the president, “the curfew is a relevant measure,” he continued.
Macron nevertheless acknowledged that “there will be economic consequences for [the] sectors” such as restaurants, culture, sports and events.
Short-time work will also be reactivated, said Macron who promised “additional measures” for small businesses in areas where curfews are imposed. Travel between regions will still be possible.