President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that France had extended its isolation from COVID-19 across the country for at least a month.
From Saturday, France will require residents to stay within 10 kilometers of their homes, as well as close all secondary shops, Macron said in a televised address. The curfew in the country at 19:00 will remain in force, and schools will switch to distance learning.
“Everyone should limit their contact with other people,” Macron told The BBC, but added that “the end of the tunnel” was in sight if people followed the restrictions.
Macron said the isolation – and the accelerated introduction of the vaccine – would allow France to slowly resume operations by mid-May, with open-air museums, bars and restaurants being able to receive guests again.
According to Reuters, the nationwide isolation is due to the fact that since February, the number of new cases in the country has doubled and averaged almost 40,000 people a day.
At the same time, the vaccination campaign in France encountered some obstacles, including the temporary cessation of the spread of AstraZeneca. According to some estimates, about 12% of the country’s population is currently vaccinated, and it is planned to vaccinate 30 million adults by mid-June.
Macron wrote on Twitter that the vaccines will be open to people over 60 on April 16, and on May 15 – for those over 50.