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Friday, October 23, 2020

Paris Back Under Curfew Amid Spike In Covid-19 Cases In Europe


French President Emanuel Macron on Tuesday declared a national health emergency and announced a month-long curfew in Paris and eight other major cities as coronavirus infections spike across Europe.

Key Facts

The curfew, which begins on Saturday, will keep residents indoors between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Apart from Paris, the curfew will affect residents of Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, St.-Etienne and Toulouse.

Residents who violate the curfew could see a fine of up to €135 (about $158).

Macron said the goal was to lower the number of infections to between 3,000 and 5,000 a per day, but warned that infections would continue through this year and into the summer of 2021, saying “the situation is worrying but not out of control,” according to the Guardian.

France saw over 22,000 new cases of Covid-19 Wednesday, and on Monday saw their highest number of new cases on record, 43,663, according to Johns Hopkins.

France, the United Kingdom, and Spain have all seen a sharp uptick in Covid-19 cases over the last week, and rank 5th through 7th respectively among countries with the highest rates of infection, according to a New York Times database.

Key Background

The swift increase in cases have French government officials in Europe worried that they are in the beginning of a second wave of the coronavirus. Announcing the curfew on primetime television, Macron said “We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus.” He said a full nationwide shutdown would be “disproportionate” but that “people will have to forget about night-time visits to restaurants or to friends’ houses.” France last declared a public health emergency in March and enacted stay at home orders. That emergency order was lifted in July when the number of Covid-19 cases decreased. Since then, however, both Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex have said France is in the midst of a second wave.

Crucial Quote

“We are in a second wave that is happening all across Europe,” Macron said, according to The Guardian.

Big Number

18 million. That’s how many people in France will fall under the new curfew, according to the New York Times.


Government officials in the U.K. are discussing locking down university campuses in England two weeks before Christmas, with students staying on campus but studying remotely, according to the Guardian. The plan would be part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to “get students home safely for Christmas.”

Further Reading

Coronavirus live news: France brings in 9pm curfew for Paris region and eight other cities (The Guardian)

Covid-19 Live Updates: France Imposes Curfews as Europe and the U.S. Confront Spiking Cases (New York Times)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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