Paris and eight other French cities will be placed under a 9pm curfew from this weekend following a major surge in coronavirus cases, President Emmanuel Macron has announced.
The curfew will last from 9pm until 6am and will come into force at midnight on Saturday.
Anyone breaking the curfew will face a fine of €135 euros, which will rise for repeat offences. The wearing of masks in public is already mandatory throughout the Paris region and anyone not wearing one faces similar fines.
Macron said the curfew will last for up to 4 weeks but could be prolonged to 1 December if cases continue to rise.
Other cities where curfew measures will be imposed include Grenoble, Lille, Toulouse, and Marseille.
In his first major televised appearance since July, Macron said France had “not lost control of the virus”, but said that the pandemic situation is worrying.
“We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus,” he said.
“The message I want to send this evening is that I need each of you, we need each other to find solutions. We will get through this together.”
France recorded more than 22,000 cases on Wednesday – more than three-times the number of infections seen at the peak of the first wave back in April.
A nationwide lockdown was put in place at the time, preventing anyone from leaving their homes without a permission form.
It was among the strictest in the world but appeared to be justified when new daily cases fell below 500 in May.
There was a severe economic impact, however, and the government has consistently spoken of its reluctance to introduce new lockdowns.
The rise in infections since the lockdown lifted mean that coronavirus cases currently account for nearly a third of all intensive care patients in France, and there are fears that hospitals in some regions may become overwhelmed.
A further 104 deaths were announced, bringing the total death toll above 33,000.
The number of deaths due to coronavirus in the UK currently stands at 43,000, where cases are also surging. A similar 10pm curfew was announced in the UK earlier this month.
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