France must by all means avoid another blanket lockdown in the face of a “very strong” revival of Covid-19, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
Speaking on France Info radio Monday, Castex urged the public to wear as many face covers as possible, keep contacts to a minimum, and take other basic hygiene measures to avoid infection.
“I’m not asking for anything revolutionary,” said Castex. It’s essential that businesses keep working and kids keep going to school, he said.
Also read: Rising coronavirus cases are putting more French cities on the alert
France has focused on local action in recent weeks to stem an increase in coronavirus cases after a two-month national freeze in the spring devastated the economy. With new infections soaring to new highs, there is little evidence that the patchy approach works.
Toulouse and Montpellier joined other French cities on maximum alert this weekend as the number of coronavirus cases in the country soared by nearly 27,000 on Saturday. Bars, casinos and exhibitions in the cities will close, while restaurants, cinemas and museums will have to comply with stricter health regulations from Monday.
New phone app
The government plans to release a new “stop-covid” mobile phone app on Oct. 22 to help control the virus, Castex said. The government is also considering additional unspecified measures if the situation does not improve in the next 15 days, he said.
Regardless of that, President Emmanuel Macron will not isolate after coming into contact with French Polynesian President Édouard Fritch, who tested positive for the coronavirus, because Macron followed hygiene protocols closely, with masks and social distance, the Elysee said.