Curfew won’t cut it for beating new Covid variants, French health minister warns
French Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned that the country’s current 6pm curfew is no longer effective at curbing the spread of Covid-19, as the government weighs implementing a third national lockdown.
Speaking at a press conference, Veran explained how new variants of Covid-19 are “actively spreading” throughout France and continuing to put significant pressure on the health service, despite the existing restrictions, including a 12-hour nightly curfew.
Alongside the curfew, French citizens are asked to remain at home unless traveling for work, education or essential trips, such as medical appointments, shopping or family emergencies. “What we want to avoid is an epidemic in the epidemic which is not yet truly visible in France,” Veran said, warning that “everything leads us to believe that it will be a reality very quickly and very strongly if we do nothing.”
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Clearly, the effectiveness of the 6pm curfew is waning and it is not enough to reverse the virus.
On the question of whether the country is heading towards another national lockdown, Veran simply said that the decision will be made at the end of the week, once the government has had enough time to measure the effects of the existing restrictions.
France has reported 3 million cases and 74,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with the country currently in the midst of a spike in Covid-19, having recorded its biggest one-day jump of cases since mid-November on Wednesday.
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