France returns to a state of emergency and imposes a curfew in several cities

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France has again decreed the state of health emergency throughout the country due to the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, which has triggered the contagion of COVID-19 in recent weeks to close to 20,000 cases a day and has increased hospital pressure in much of the territory. It will come into force next Saturday, October 17, at midnight and will be accompanied by a curfew in the Île de France region – where Paris is located – and eight other cities.

“Given its spread throughout the national territory, the COVID-19 epidemic constitutes a health catastrophe which endangers, by its nature and its seriousness, the health of the population “, indicated the report of the French Council of Ministers, published shortly before the appearance of the president, Emmanuel Macron.

The document ensures that the unstoppable spread of the virus justifies the declaration of the state of emergency to allow the application of “the measures strictly proportional to health risks and appropriate to the circumstances of time and place. ”

The curfew, announced by Macron in a television interview, will apply in the Paris region and the cities of Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne, from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. starting next Saturday. It will last for four weeks, although the president’s objective is that this measure is maintained until December 1 if the Parliament authorizes it.

Macron has indicated that it was necessary to “take stricter measures” when faced with “a worrisome situation”, although he has affirmed that a general reconfinement, such as that of last spring, “it would be disproportionate”. The president explained that the purpose of these restrictions is to stop the growth of infections and that daily cases fall from 20,000 to 3,000-5,000.

“You will not be able to go to the restaurant after 21.00, you will not be able to go to parties at friends’ houses“Explained the president, who has reported that there may not be meetings of more than six people. In addition, he has advanced that there will be police controls and fines for offenders, as well as a system of authorizations for those who have to leave for work or inescapable reasons.

Likewise, he has pointed out that there will be no restrictions on transportation and that they will create “supplementary support mechanisms” for the economic sectors most affected by the curfew, such as restaurants, theaters, cinemas and shows. Macron has also recommended teleworking two or three days a week and an aid for the unemployed.

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