The French Prime Minister announced on Saturday evening the closure at midnight of all “places receiving public not essential to the life of the country”, after the census of 830 new cases of coronavirus infection in 24 hours.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas are called to close their doors.
Shops are also affected, with the exception of food stores, pharmacies, banks, tobacconists and petrol stations, said Edouard Philippe, who called on the French to “discipline” the pandemic.
However, the first round of municipal elections will take place on Sunday “as planned” on the condition of “strictly respecting the instructions for distancing and prioritizing the elderly and frail”, added Mr. Philippe, asking “calm” and “good citizenship ” to the French.
“All services essential to the life of our citizens will obviously remain open,” said the Prime Minister.
If “urban transport will continue to function”, the government urges the French to limit “their journeys and in particular to avoid inter-urban journeys”.
“I say this seriously: we must all show more discipline in the application of these measures,” insisted Philippe.
“What we have to do at the moment is simply to avoid gathering as much as possible, to limit friendly and family gatherings, to use public transport only to go to work and only if the physical presence at the work is essential, only go out of your home to do your essential shopping, do some exercise or vote ”, he exclaimed.
Mr. Philippe particularly deplored having “seen too many people in cafes, restaurants”. “I would normally be happy with it, but for a few weeks that is not what we need to do,” he added, noting that “the first measures taken to limit rallies were imperfectly applied”.
More than 830 new cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus have been detected in France, bringing the total of cases to 4,500 since the start of the epidemic, which has so far killed 91 people in the country, announced on Saturday health authorities.
These are 12 additional deaths compared to the previous day, and “more than 300 serious cases” are in intensive care, said the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon.
France is the fifth most affected country in the world in terms of deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic.