France to Close Schools, Ban Domestic Travel Due to COVID-19 Surge

Schools across France will close for at least three weeks and domestic travel will be banned for a month under the third lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, President Emmanuel Macron announced.

“We’re going to close nursery, elementary, and high schools for three weeks,” Macron said in a televised address to the nation on March 31.

Schools will transition to online learning starting on April 6, followed by a two-week holiday break for all students, Macron said.

Macron also reaffirmed his stance that a prolonged closure of schools was “increasing social inequalities.”

Macron also announced a month-long inter-regional travel ban starting on April 5, allowing people to continue their Easter weekend plans.

“We must limit all contact as much as we can, including family gatherings. We know now: these are where the virus spreads,” Macron said.

“We will lose control if we do not move now,” Macron said, describing the COVID-19 situation in the country as “delicate.”

“We have endured a year of suffering and sacrifice. But if we stay united and organized, we will reach the end of the tunnel. April will be a critical month,” Macron said.

Macron also announced that the overnight nationwide curfew of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. will remain.

Macron also promised to accelerate the vaccination campaign in the coming days as it was “the way out of the crisis.”

“At every stage of this epidemic, we could say to ourselves that we could have done better. But I know one thing: we have stood firm, we’ve learned, and at every stage we’ve improved,” Macron said.

According to the office of Prime Minister Jean Castex, parliament will hold a debate on April 1 to address the COVID-19 situation and the new measures.

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