French President Emmanuel Macron decided to expand the scope of restrictions imposed on movement to include the whole of France, and said that schools will be closed for a period of three weeks, as the country seeks to combat a third wave of cases of Corona virus.
Macron said that he decided to extend the general isolation measures already imposed in the capital, Paris, and large sectors of the north and parts of the southeast, to include the entire country from Saturday and for a period of at least a month.
“If we do not act now, we will lose control of the situation,” Macron added in a televised address to the nation.
The epidemic has killed 95,337 people in France and caused intensive care units in the hardest-hit regions to reach a breaking point.
Schools will be closed for three weeks after Easter, which falls at the weekend.
“It is the best solution to slow the spread of the virus,” Macron said, adding that France had succeeded in keeping its schools open for a longer period compared to many neighboring countries during the pandemic.
The French president said that from April 16, people over the age of 60 will be able to receive the vaccination against Covid-19, and from May 15 the minimum age will be reduced to allow the vaccination to be available to those over 50 years old.
The number of daily HIV infections in France has doubled since February, reaching about 40,000.
The new restrictions could slow the pace of the euro zone’s second-largest economy’s recovery from a recession last year.