France to re-enter lockdown from Friday

The confinement will be nationwide and will remain in place until at least December 1. Forms will be needed, as in spring, to justify being out of the home.

28 October 2020
By Connexion journalist

France is to be placed under a second national lockdown that will come into effect overnight this Thursday (October 29) - Friday. This is being widely interpreted as meaning from midnight on Thursday. President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement in a televised address to the nation from the Élysée Palace on Wednesday evening. 

Schools, however, and essential shops will remain open but bars, restaurants, cafés and other public places (cinemas, theatres, etc.) will close. Universities will close. 

Everyone will need to carry justification forms (attestations de déplacement) when they leave the house. 

Travel between regions in France will no longer be allowed, except for those travelling back home from holiday this weekend. 

Visits to retirement homes will be permitted, under strict health protocol, unlike during the lockdown in spring. 

The new measures will remain in place until at least December 1. The government will assess the situation every two weeks and decide whether to put in place additional measures or to alleviate certain restrictions. More details of the new rules will be published tomorrow morning. 

Nurseries, primary schools and high schools will remain open, unlike in spring, with reinforced health protocols. 

"As in the spring, you will be able to leave your home to go to work, to go to a medical appointment, to assist a relative, to do your shopping or to get some fresh air near your home," Mr Macron said.

"The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic predictions had not anticipated.

"Have we done everything right? No, I said it a fortnight ago, we can always improve, but we have done everything possible and I deeply believe that our strategy was, given the information we had, the right one.

"Stay at home as much as possible, respect the rules. Success depends on the civic-mindedness of each and every one of us," Mr Macron said.

In the past 24 hours, France recorded 69,854 new cases of coronavirus. Over 14,000 people have been hospitalised because of the virus in the past week, of which 2,057 were admitted to intensive care units. 60% of the beds in intensive care units in France are now occupied by Covid patients. 

Earlier today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will have a November lockdown. Schools and shops will remain open, but social contact will be limited to two households and bars, restaurants and leisure facilities will close. 

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