France announces second lockdown to control Covid-19 spike

28 October 2020, 19:34 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 22:58

Emmanuel Macron has announced a second lockdown
Emmanuel Macron has announced a second lockdown. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

France is to enter a second national lockdown on Friday to curb the rapidly rising number of new cases of coronavirus, Emmanuel Macron has announced.

With over 520 deaths recorded on Tuesday, the French leader said that a new nationwide lockdown would be the only possible way to successfully fight Covid-19.

"(France has been) overpowered by a second wave," Mr Macron said in a national televised address on Wednesday.

The government is scheduled to lay out the details of the new lockdown on Thursday.

France saw one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, with citizens expected to show papers detailing why they were leaving their homes.

Read more: Angela Merkel announces month-long partial lockdown for Germany

It is expected these measures will be reimplemented, and people will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, medical appointments and essential exercise.

Schools however, will remain open.

In France, more than half of the country's intensive care units are already occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Read more: Growing pressure on PM to increase Covid restrictions as daily death toll rises

France reported 288 new virus-related deaths in hospitals in 24 hours on Tuesday and 235 deaths in nursing homes over the previous four days. Both figures marked the biggest such rise since May.

"Nothing is more important than human life," Mr Macron, noting that France has one of the biggest coronavirus rates in Europe currently.

Earlier this afternoon, Germany's Angela Merkel also announced that a new four-week partial lockdown would be imposed.
Earlier this afternoon, Germany's Angela Merkel also announced that a new four-week partial lockdown would be imposed. Picture: PA

"We are having 40,000-50,000 new identified contaminations each day," he said.

Earlier this afternoon, Germany also announced that a new four-week partial lockdown would be imposed.

Their lockdown will come into effect on November 2 and will see bars and restaurants closing.

Shops will be allowed to remain open on condition that there is only one customer per 10 square metres of space.

According to the federal government's proposal, all leisure facilities such as theatres, operas, cinemas, swimming pools and fitness studios, but also bars, clubs, discos and pubs will close.

But the "delivery and collection of takeaway meals for consumption at home" will remain open.

Also, schools, kindergartens will remain open too.

The rules will apply until November 30.

The plan has caused anguish in Germany's hospitality industry, with thousands of venue owners staging a protest at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate to demand further financial support from the government.