A panorama of Nice, France

16 departments in France under lockdown from today

16 departments in France under lockdown from today

Paris is among them

16 departments in France are entering lockdown again, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday evening. For an initial period of four weeks starting at midnight on Friday, 19 March, all non-essential shops in these regions will have to close. Travelling is also restricted.

All non-essential stores close in sixteen areas of France

The lockdown announced by the Prime Minister concerns the following departments: Aisne, Alpes-Maritimes (includes the city of Nice), Essonne, Eure, Hauts-de-Seine, Nord, Oise, Paris, Pas-de-Calais, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-Maritime, Somme, Val-de- Marne, Val-d'Oise, Yvelines.

There, all non-essential stores (bookstores and record dealers are considered essential) are requested to close, while leaving one’s home is allowed only within 10 kilometres from one's residence and upon presentation of a justification form. There are, however, no limits to the duration of an outside stay.

Unless there is a valid reason, travelling between regions is forbidden. The prefects (state representatives to the regions) are allowed to restrict certain public gatherings. In these regions, schools remain open, but high schools resume at half capacity.

In addition, for the entirety of the country’s territory, the curfew remains, but will start at 19:00 (instead of 18:00), as of Saturday, 20 March.

According to the Prime Minister, quoted by Euronews, around 29% of the cases happen at work and half of these are caused by people going to their workplaces despite the presence of symptoms. He therefore reminded that remote work remains the norm and invited people to work from home at least four days out of five.

He further pointed out to the fact that the situation has considerably worsened with the UK variant representing almost three quarters of all cases. Finally, during what seems like a third wave of the coronavirus, younger and healthier people are being admitted to intensive care and hospital stays are longer than before.

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