French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced that in light of the acceleration of the spread of the Coronavirus, France will shut down all restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and non-essential retail shops. He also said that grocery stores, and all other essential public services would continue to remain open.
The French Prime Minister also advised all French citizens to remain at home as much as possible too aid in curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
French authorities had earlier already shut down schools, and banned gatherings of more than 100 people, while advising people to limit their social life, and asking people over 70 years of age to stay at home. However, according to the French Prime Minister, these measures were not ‘well-implemented’.
Philippe made the announcement at a press conference after the French public health authorities had already announced that almost 4,500 were now infected with the Coronavirus. Authorities also announced that the deadly virus had claimed 91 lives.
Philippe, however, confirmed that nation-wide municipal elections will go ahead as planned on Sunday, as per French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision last week. The French President had said the municipal elections were vital for the continual functioning of the democratic system. His announcement was met with criticism, and concerns over the possibility of people getting infected while at polling stations.
Philippe said that special measures would be put in place to keep people at a safe distance and clean shared material to limit the chances of people being infected.
(Image credit: AP)