New closure to Paris and other parts of France

France is imposing a four-week lockdown on the Paris region and several other parts of the country amid rising coronavirus cases. “The epidemic is getting worse,” Prime Minister Jean Castex told a news conference yesterday. Now it must be prevented from getting out of hand. The country is affected by a third wave.

The most contagious variant of the virus, which was first discovered in Great Britain, now accounts for three-quarters of cases. The new measures should take effect tomorrow night. Schools and much-needed stores should remain open, as should bookstores. However, many other stores will be closed, and travel will be restricted.

In January, President Emmanuel Macron rejected calls from scholars and some members of the government to take tougher action. She said at the time that he wanted to do everything to keep the country open for as long as possible. Castex said yesterday that the government is still sticking to this decision. “We had an unbearable lockdown of three months. It was right that we didn’t do that.”

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