France is entering an even harsher coronavirus lockdown on Saturday, as the government announced a raft of new measures including a nationwide curfew and border controls for new arrivals.
Macron’s left-liberal government is launching the new-broadened curfew, saying the restrictions will last for at least two weeks. At the moment, the most-impacted regions of France have a 6 pm curfew now, and others have 8 pm, but from Saturday, the whole country will have to be home by early evening.
People caught outside by police after 6 pm from tomorrow will be fined €135 unless they can prove they are travelling for a government-approved reason.
Among the excuses that could get you out of paying the fine are travelling for “medical reasons”, walking your dog, family emergencies, and traveling to or from work.
French daily Le Figaro reported the remarks of Prime Minister Jean Castex at the announcement of the new restrictions, when he urged the French people to show “patience and responsibility” for the coming “several months” until the vaccine rollout was complete.
The paper also claimed the timing for this announcement follows a rise in cases, with every region of France seeing 50 infected per 100,000 head of population or more.
Other measures are also being introduced by the French government. From this weekend, new arrivals to France from countries outside the European Union will have to present a negative coronavirus test and self-isolate for seven days upon arrival. Once the isolation is finished, visitors must then undertake a second coronavirus test before entering the general population.
In France, it is common for shops to shut at lunchtime and on Sundays to give staff a break — a tradition that has gradually vanished from most other Western nations but one jealously guarded by the French — but now the government is encouraging shops to start opening every day and at lunch to give the public more time to conduct their business. This, it is claimed, will reduce crowding at peak times because shoppers will spread out more through the day and week.
France is not by far the only European nation to enact a nightly curfew in response to the coronavirus. Breitbart London reported last year that the Italian state locked down its cities, deploying police checkpoints on roads and at railway stations to interrogate people out at night.
Incredibly, having a valid reason to travel was not enough — Italian bureaucracy demanded that citizens print and fill out a government form every time they left the house, for police inspection.
Vaccine Passports Trialed in the UK, as EU Leaders Push for ‘Standardised’ COVID Travel Passes https://t.co/ug4KkyUNTg
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 14, 2021