Macron announces nationwide lockdown

Newsnow Desk: French President Emmanuel Macron announced tough new restrictions on Wednesday to halt a flare-up in COVID-19 cases, with a month-long national lockdown mooted as hospitals battle an influx of patients.

Macron delivered a televised address to the nation, a day after officials announced 523 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours – the highest daily toll since April.

He held crisis meetings Tuesday and Wednesday with top ministers before his announcement, which a government official said was likely to be “unpopular.”

During the first lockdown, French people had to show a certificate justifying any excursion from the home, while non-essential businesses and borders were closed.

Unlike then, kindergartens, primary and junior high schools may remain open this time around, according to several unnamed sources cited by major French newspapers and radio stations.

Things look uncertain for secondary schools and universities, however, while Macron may also announce new travel limitations between French regions.

Parliament will be asked to vote on the measures, Prime Minister Jean Castex told political party leaders after meetings on Tuesday.

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