In a televised speech to the nation, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday declared a three-week nationwide school closure and a month-long domestic travel taboo, as the accelerated spread of the virus ramped up the load on hospitals. Mr. Macron announced that the trials are required as “the epidemic is accelerating. We’re going to close nursery, elementary and high schools for three weeks If we stay united in the coming weeks… then we will see light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, continuing that a nationwide 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. lockout will be put in place.
Mr. Macron said constraints now implementing in the Paris province and others parts of north and eastern France will be stretched to the whole nation, for at least one month. Following these constraints, people are permitted to go outside for recreation, but within a 10-kilometer radius from their residences and without crowding. Furthermore, most non-essential stores are shut down. The movement is a deviation from the government’s policy in recent months, which has concentrated on regionalized constraints. School closings in particular had been viewed as a very last option.
A discussion is programmed in parliament on Thursday that will consider the virus condition and the fresh measures.“The key factor in our decision-making remains the situation in hospitals,” government representative Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday after Mr. Macron hosted his weekly coronavirus approach conference and a Cabinet meeting. After Paris hospital officials warned they would have to begin declining indigent patients for lack of space, he said, “One thing is clear: France will not refuse care for any sick patients. Choosing patients is not an option.”
Early nationwide lockdowns in March and October 2020 were declared by Mr. Macron in televised addresses. The total number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in France climbed past 5,000 on Tuesday, the initial time in 11 months that the number has been that high. Mr. Macron on Wednesday said the numbers of hospital ICU beds will be raised “in the coming days” from the prevailing 7,000 to 10,000.
Following an overnight shift at an ICU in the northern French city of Amiens, Dr. Pauline Caillard reported increasing numbers of patients and mounting pressure on the medical staff.“It is moving very fast,” she said. “I hope we do not have to make choices” between patients.
The refurbished wave of infections has driven to growing questions about Mr. Macron’s virus procedures. With presidential polls programmed for 2022, Mr. Macron is having to consider both political and health considerations. A late nationwide lockdown has been in the position since January, and all France’s restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, and museums have been shut since October.