French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown for at least the whole of November, to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Mr Macron said under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.
“I have decided that we have to, as of Friday, return to confinement,” Macron said, in a live televised speech on Wednesday evening, October 28th.
The lockdown, which will be in place until December 1st, will be less rigid than the one France lived through this spring, the president said.
“Schools will stay open, work can continue and elderly nursing homes can be visited,” Macron said.
Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.
COVID-19 daily deaths in France are at the highest level since April. On Tuesday, 33,000 new cases were confirmed.
Covid-19 patients now occupied more than half of the country’s hospital beds, the president said, which meant hospitals were beginning to postpone surgeries and treatments to deal with the mounting pressure.