President Macron to speak on coronavirus tonight

The appearance comes after his Prime Minister warned earlier in the week that: 'The reality of the second wave is here'

14 October 2020
By Connexion journalist

France President Emmanuel Macron will face two journalists in a TV interview tonight at around 20:00, amid rapidly rising coronavirus numbers, tightening restrictions and dire warnings from his Prime Minister.

Mr Macron will discuss the coronavirus pandemic, its economic and social consequences, and will face journalists' questions, the Elysée announced.

Read more about what Mr Macron is expected to say here

The announcement comes after two more French cities - Toulouse and Montpellier - were placed on 'maximum Covid-19 alert' and amid a spike in cases, with Prime Minister Jean Castex warning: "The reality of the second wave is here - there can be no more slackening."

And, while government officials have repeatedly said they wish to avoid a second national lockdown period, Mr Castex has not ruled out further local lockdowns being imposed if the health situation does not improve.

In an interview with Franceinfo, Mr Castex said: "The French were a little too quick to consider that this virus had disappeared."

The Prime Minister said people were failing to appreciate "the second wave is here".

He added that officials in the Île-de-France issued 95 fines after carrying out 500 checks to ensure bars were closed as instructed and social distancing measures were being enforced in restaurants.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, and hospitals deal with increasing numbers of admissions, a number of local restrictions have been enforced in a number of cities, with Toulouse and Montpellier on Monday joining Paris, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne on the highest alert level.

In those areas, all bars, gyms and sports centres are closed and private gatherings in public places are limited to 10 people. Restaurants and cafés can stay open.

Read more: 20,000 volunteer for Covid-19 vaccine trials in France

An area is declared a 'maximum alert' zone once it has passed three criteria; more than 250 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people, more than 100 cases per 100,000 of people in vulnerable groups and more than 30% of intensive care beds occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Restrictions are introduced for 15 days before the situation is reviewed.

Mr Castex warned that gatherings at houses were not covered by the restrictions. "I can not regulate private spaces," he said. "But there is someone who can regulate private space: it is the owner, the householder.

"I ask that barrier gestures be respected in private as well as in public space."

Mr Macron will speak at 7.55pm on Wednesday. The broadcast will be aired on TF1, France 2, Franceinfo, LCI and TV5 Monde.

Read more: Covid-19 France: Fines for wearing plastic face visors

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