Paris to Enter Lockdown Over Fears of Third Wave of COVID-19 Cases

The French government has imposed a month-long lockdown on Paris and 15 other departments in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced, warning of a third wave.

The new measures will begin on the midnight of March 19, but will be less strict than the previous lockdowns held last year, Castex said at a news conference on March 18.

Castex said that the pandemic was “accelerating considerably” and that it was “becoming clearer and clearer that it’s a third wave.”

“Our responsibility now is to not let it escape our control,” Castex said.

Under the new measures, non-essential shops must close, but schools and universities will remain open.

People will not be permitted to travel to other parts of the country without a valid reason, but they will be allowed to exercise outdoors within a 10 kilometer radius of their house.

“This is clearly about allowing for people to be outside, but not to go to friends’ homes to have a party or meet with many people without social distancing or a face mask. We know that it is in that kind of situation that the virus prospers,” Castex said.

The nationwide curfew will also remain in place.

As Castex made the announcements, France reported 35,000 new cases.

Data from Johns Hopkins University showed that France has now reached 4,241,963 cases, with the British variant accounting for 75% of the cases.

France will lift the suspension on the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca following confirmation from the European Medicines Agency that it was safe to use after reports of blood clots from those who received the vaccine surfaced.

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