France on Wednesday October 14, became the latest European nation to enforce a month-long night-time curfew in Paris and eight other major cities and towns aimed at fighting the Coronavirus ‘second wave.’This strict State of Emergency measure is also applied to Lille, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier.
The capital will now shut down for nine hours from 9pm until 6am, in a bid to stop the disease circulating, said President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday. All bars, restaurants, theatres and similar businesses will have to shut at 9pm sharp from Saturday.
Addressing the nation during a televised interview from the Elysee Palace, the French President confirmed that France was now ‘being hit by the second wave.’ ‘This virus that we have known from the beginning and which has struck us for eight months, is coming back,’ he said.
‘We have not lost control. We are in a situation which is worrying and which justifies that we are neither inactive nor in panic. ‘It is equally worrying in other European countries, such as Germany which is also taking restrictive measures.
‘Spain and the Netherlands are also in a very worrying situation, and have taken very restrictive measures in recent days’.
It will kick-in from midnight on October 17 and will last for four weeks. Anyone breaking the curfew will face a fine of €135 euros, which will rise for repeat offenses. The new measures come four months after the last lockdown when the first Covid-19 wave hit.
Mr Macron said this State of Emergency was now set to be re-introduced, along with the other tougher measures, from Saturday. The announcement comes after France recorded more than 22,000 cases on Wednesday – more than three-times the number of infections that were recovered during the first wave back in April.
And in Italy, authorities recorded 7,332 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily count the hard-hit country has yet seen, while Belgium has warned that intensive care units will hit capacity by mid-November.
In Spain’s Catalonia, bars and restaurants were shut down today with schools now closing again around Europe amid tougher restrictions across the continent.