Covid-19: Paris Faces Month-long Lockdown Amid Third Wave Fears

The French capital is set to go into a month-long as the country fears the third wave.

Some 21 million people in 16 areas of France are going to be placed under the measures from midnight on Friday.

These measures will not be as strict as the previous lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex said, with people allowed to exercise outdoors.

France has recorded quite 35,000 new infections within the past 24 hours.

Mr. Castex said a “third wave” of infections within the country was looking increasingly likely.

The situation in Paris is especially worrying with 1,200 people in medical care there, quite at the height of the second wave in November, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

Under the new measures, non-essential businesses will be forced to close but schools will remain open. People are going to be allowed to exercise outdoors within 10km (6 miles) of their home and aren’t allowed to visit other parts of the country unless they need a valid reason. Those within the affected areas will need to fill out a form to elucidate why they need to leave their homes.

France’s nationwide curfew will remain in place. However, it will begin an hour later at 19:00 (18:00 GMT), taking into account the long hours of daylight.

Fears of a third wave come as the French government faces criticism for its slow vaccine rollout.

From Friday, France will resume vaccinating using the AstraZeneca jab following the EMA’s announcement that it had been fit for use. Mr. Castex said he would be getting the vaccine immediately to prove that it had been okay.

France had suspended the jab after a variety of cases in Europe of blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered. A survey conducted just as the suspension was announced found that only 20% of the French have confidence in AstraZeneca.

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