French schools will be closed for at least three weeks as part of new national restrictions to combat rising Covid cases, says President Emmanuel Macron

Lockdown measures introduced earlier this month in some areas of France will be extended to other districts

All non-essential businesses must be closed on Saturday and it is forbidden to drive more than 10 km from home without good reason

On Wednesday, the country’s health ministry reported 59038 new cases France has so far reported more than 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and 95495 deaths related to Covid

In his live televised address on Wednesday, Mr Macron described the situation in the country as “delicate” and said April will prove crucial. “We will lose control if we don’t move now,” he said

The 43-year-old president said it was a race between vaccinating on the one hand and trying to control the spread of the virus on the other

He said while schools would close starting next week, elementary schools and kindergartens would remain closed for three weeks and high schools would be closed for an extra week, even though this would be two weeks of spring break from Dec. until 26 April includes

Mr Macron said measures put in place earlier this month in 19 districts – including closing non-essential businesses, engaging in activities within 6 miles of a person’s place of residence, and banning entry into other parts of the country without one good reason – would be expanded nationwide

“Everyone should limit their contact with other people,” he said, adding that people would get the Easter weekend to get to where they want to go the lockdown

France’s nationwide curfew at 7:00 p.m. remains in place and people are again being asked to work from home

The President said “the end of the tunnel” is in sight if people respect the new measures

Parliament will discuss the measures announced by Mr Macron before it votes on Thursday, according to the Prime Minister’s Office

For one thing, President Macron has now opened up a much clearer target to the opposition – they can argue that his decision in January to override the scientists and not institute a third lockdown was a mistake

At that time he was warned that the so-called British variant would have everything in front of it by the end of March – and lo and behold, that happened and now he’s eating his hat

For his enemies, it is the result of Macron’s hubris – the unbearable self-confidence that leads him to believe he knows better than the doctors

The other reason it’s getting sensitive is the UK. Everyone in France can see how much better the vaccination program is going there. When the UK begins to resume normal life while France is still struggling, tough questions will be asked of the President

With the rise in serious cases of coronavirus in France, pressure on hospitals in the greater Paris area has resulted in an increase in demand for intensive care beds Hospitals in and around Paris have also reduced non-Covid treatments

The French Hospital Federation (FHF) warned last week that wards across the country would face “unprecedented violent shock” in the coming weeks if authorities fail to stem the rise in cases. strict blocking “, otherwise there is a risk that hospitals will be overwhelmed

In an interview with France Inter Radio on Tuesday, Gilles Pialoux, Head of Infectious Diseases Department at Tenon Hospital in Paris, said lockdown restrictions should have been put in place earlier

“We have lost so much time that the measures are now getting more difficult and taking longer,” he said, adding that hospital staff were “tired of being tired”

Public support for a new national lockdown has reportedly increased in recent days A poll published by the Elabe Institute on Wednesday found that 54% of the citizens questioned were in favor of the move

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Wednesday supported the closure of schools, saying the move, viewed by the government as a last resort, was necessary because of the “very serious situation”

A group of French school teachers had previously filed a legal complaint against Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer for “endangering the lives of others” accusing him of failing to protect staff in regular contact with children in classrooms

In Germany, the heads of state and government of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the most severely affected states in the state, have called for stricter restrictions and have declared that the situation is worse than originally assumed.The city of Hamburg will introduce a night lock on Friday

Spain will be revising a new law on Wednesday mandating the wearing of face masks in outdoor areas – including beaches and swimming pools – amid mounting criticism of the move

The Portuguese authorities want by 11 April vaccinate all members of the priority groups with at least one Covid-19 sting The head of the national coronavirus task force told parliament that the focus would be on nursing home residents, people aged 80 and over, and people aged 50 and over with underlying conditions

A court in the Czech Republic has denied an obligation for Czech citizens returning from blacklisted countries to take a negative test before departure, arguing that tests can be done on arrival

Poland recorded the highest daily number of Covid fatalities this year with 653 deaths on Wednesday.The country has a total of 53 since the pandemic began045 coronavirus-related deaths recorded

Meanwhile, experts investigating possible links between the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots have not yet found any specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history, according to European Union regulators, however, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated that the analysis will continue

WHO says the situation across the European Region is more worrying than it will be in a few months’ time

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World news – GB – Covid: France schools close under third lockdown

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56597319