Homeland Security

France Weighs More COVID-19 Restrictions as Infections, Hospitalizations Rise

By VOA News February 24, 2021

The French government Wednesday said the COVID-19 situation is deteriorating in about 10 French regions, including the Paris-Ile-de-France area around the capital, and said it is considering additional restrictions to address the situation.

At a news conference in Paris, government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters infection numbers and infection rates have started to climb over the past week after declining the week before. He said some regions "require rapid and strong measures."

He said the regions of most concern are the northern Hauts-de-France region, the Ile-de-France or Paris region, the eastern Grand Est region and the southern PACA region surrounding the city of Marseille.

Officials in the Alpes-Maritimes Mediterranean coastal region around the cities of Nice and Cannes on Monday announced a partial lockdown, to last during the daytime over the next two weekends. The region already has a 12-hour nightly curfew.

Health Minister Olivier Veran was in the northern port of Dunkirk on Wednesday, and was expected to discuss possible measures to limit infections with local officials. Attal told reporters that Prime Minister Jean Castex would hold a news conference Thursday to further discuss the overall COVID-19 situation.

Attal said the government was doing all it could to avoid a new national lockdown.

Unlike some of its neighbors, France has resisted a new national lockdown to control more contagious variants, hoping a curfew in place since December 15 can contain the pandemic.

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