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COVID-19: Schools across France to close from Monday

'We are just at the beginning', French president Emmanuel Macron announces tonight in televised speech about COVID-19 

Here are key points of his speech:

All those aged 70+, or with chronic illnesses and breathing issues and disability are asked to stay at home as much as they can and to avoid contact with others.

Everyone is asked to take care of vulnerable members of the community – and NOT visit older people. Call or write to them instead.

Local elections to be maintained this Sunday March 15 and Sunday March 22

Workers to work from home as much as possible

Non-urgent operations to be deferred to free up medical teams

Public transport to continue

Crèches, schools and universities across France to close from next Monday until further notice

Everyone to limit trips and meetings

To keep a one-metre distance from others where possible, wash hands regularly with soap or hydro-alcoholic gel, avoid shaking hands and physical embraces and cough into your elbow and dispose of tissues

The winter ‘treve’ which is due to end on March 31 and when tenants can be evicted for non-payment of rent and other issues is to be put back two months

Companies to be supported as well as the self-employed. The payment of social charges to be deferred without need for justification

National borders to be kept open – however, President Macron said: "There will no doubt be measures involving checks and the closure of borders to take – but we must take them when they are appropriate and on a European scale.”

He praised the entirety of the medical services for their devotion, including medical students and retired doctors who are mobilised to help.

Number of cases in France is now 2,876 and number of deaths is 61.

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