France to implement curfew to stem coronavirus, says Macron

PARIS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be implemented in the great Paris region and eight big cities in France starting from Friday midnight and last for at least four weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday evening.

"A curfew will apply to the Ile-de-France region...and eight metropolitan areas -- Grenoble, Lille, Rouen, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Montpellier and Rouen," Macron said in a televised interview.

France has been in a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic with an average of 20,000 new infection cases per day. "We have now entered a phase to which we must react...The virus is everywhere in France," Macron added.

A hotel brand is pictured on August 6, 2020 in Paris, amid the crisis linked with the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AFP)

The situation is worrying and the curfew is a "pertinent" measure while having the whole country locked down again would be "disproportionate", he explained.

"We have not lost control. We are in a situation which is worrying and which justifies that we are neither inactive nor in panic. We have learned from the first wave," Macron said.

The curfew does not ban driving between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., but travel will be strictly limited unless with good reasons. "We must continue to be able to go to work in all sectors," said Macron. "For those who have emergencies, health for example, there will be authorizations."

Prime Minister Jean Castex will give a press conference on Thursday to unveil details of these measures, Macron added.