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France to close open-air markets, crack down on JOGGING to stop coronavirus spread

France to close open-air markets, crack down on JOGGING to stop coronavirus spread
France is set to tighten its coronavirus lockdown rules, closing open-air markets and limiting outdoor workouts, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said. Stricter rules come as the nation's Covid-19 death toll continues to mount.

Speaking to TF1 TV on Monday, Philippe announced he was about to sign a new decree, imposing stricter lockdown in the country. The restrictions, he noted, might be in force for "several more weeks."

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The new measures, expected to take effect on Tuesday, include closure of the majority of open-air markets across the country. Local authorities, however, will be able to ask for an exemption from this rule.

Outdoor exercises, such as jogging, will be limited as well - residents will not be allowed to go farther than 1km (0.6 miles) from their homes.

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"Going out to take the children for a walk or for physical exercise must be within a distance of one kilometer maximum of your home, for one hour, and obviously alone, once a day," the PM explained.

The lockdown, imposed a week ago, might get even stricter with Philippe not ruling out the idea of localized curfews. Imposing one, however, rests within the hands of local authorities, he explained. Several communities across France, including the southern city of Nice, have already imposed such curfews.

While the situation in France is not as dire as in the neighboring Italy, which is grappling with the worst outbreak in Europe,  the French coronavirus statistics remains rather alarming. Some 186 more people died from the disease on Monday, bringing national death toll to 860. Nearly 17,000 coronavirus cases have been registered across the country.

Worldwide, the virus has already affected more than 350,000 people, while over 15,000 have died.

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