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France introduces nationwide 6pm curfew to tackle Covid-19

Prime Minister Jean Castex also revealed new controls for those arriving from outside the EU

Marseille, France after the announcement of a new 6pm curfew in the country.
Marseille, France after the announcement of a new 6pm curfew in the country.
Image: Daniel Cole

ALL OF FRANCE will be under a strict 6pm curfew for at least 15 days to fight the spread of Covid-19, the country’s Prime Minister announced yesterday.

Jean Castex also revealed strict new controls for those arriving in France from countries outside the European Union.

Starting on Monday, they must produce a PCR test with negative results and self-isolate for seven days followed by a new, negative test.

France wants to coordinate a response with the European Union about arrivals from EU countries, he said.

The French government is trying to avoid a third lockdown with partial measures like curfews which Castex called both “preventative” and “reactive”.

Most regions were under an 8pm curfew but from Saturday “everyone must be home at 6pm,” Castex said. That means shops must close by then. Bars and restaurants have been closed for months.

The average infection rate for coronavirus stands at about 16,000 people per day.

France has one of the highest death counts in Europe, at more than 69,000, and ranks seventh in the world behind countries such as the US, Brazil and the UK.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday called for tougher restrictions to contain the country’s worsening coronavirus outbreak and pushed for crisis talks with regional leaders, party sources told AFP.

At a meeting of senior members of her centre-right CDU party, Merkel said she wanted to bring forward a planned meeting with state premiers to “the coming week”, participants said.

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They quoted her as saying the virus could only be stopped with “significant additional measures”.

She also voiced concern about the virus strain that recently emerged in Britain and is considered more contagious, saying people urgently need to reduce their social contacts.

Germany today passed two million Covid-19 cases.

- With reporting by AFP.

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