Emmanuel Macron expected to announce strict new lockdown measures in televised address

Emmanuel Macron expected to announce strict new lockdown measures in televised address

The restrictions, which have already been in place in several regions of France, will come into place on Saturday, Mr Macron said on Wednesday.

Jacob Kirkegaard, who studies health care systems as a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund, says the new strains of the virus are forcing countries to step up their public health measures.

"We are faced with a new situation, ' he said".

Professor Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, told RTL today: "Yes, there are still company canteens open, but schools definitely represent one of the major areas of contamination today, and they can lead to more than 40,000 people becoming infected every day in France".

Women watch the French President Emmanuel Macron as he delivers a speech during a televised address to the nation on the new Covid-19 restrictions.

"Everyone has to make sure not that they close themselves in, but that they limit, to the maximum, their contacts, meetings and time spent with others", said Macron. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online.

Nearly 44% of all Covid patients in intensive care units are under the age of 65, the President said. Britain, Germany and Italy are also in various forms of lockdown. A situation made worse by a Covid-19 variant, P1, that is both more contagious and potentially more lethal too.

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Over the last few warm, spring days, the banks of the Seine River in Paris have looked a lot like Venice Beach, Calif., with young people working-out and sunbathing, their masks under their chins. "It is moving very fast", she said.

Not locking down in January meant "we gained precious weeks of liberty, weeks of learning for our children, we allowed hundreds of thousands of workers to keep their head above water, without losing control of the epidemic", he argued.

Seeking to offer hope, Macron said the April lockdown and a swifter vaccination campaign would allow the slow re-opening of the country from mid-May, starting with museums and the outdoor terraces of bars and restaurants, albeit under strict rules.

So far, France has prioritised vaccines for people living in nursing homes and those aged 70 and over, as well as health care workers and people with serious health conditions. Macron said 44% of patients in in intensive care are younger than 65. Macron defended his decision not to lock the country down then, saying people had benefitted from "precious weeks of liberty".

The National Council of the Order of Doctorsurged Macron on Wednesday in an open letter published in the Liberation newspaper to impose "a real lockdown wherever necessary".

Meanwhile the death toll is nearing 100,000 and daily fatalities have climbed to almost 350 per day.

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