Why are the French so dramatic

"Respect the rules!" : Macron sends France into lockdown

Almost six months after the corona-related lockdown ended, the French have to adjust to new exit restrictions. As head of state Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday evening, new and drastic measures against the second wave of the corona epidemic will apply nationwide from Friday.

Prime Minister Jean Castex wants to explain the new catalog of measures on Thursday in front of both chambers of parliament. A vote is also planned, said Macron.

With the announcements by the 42-year-old head of state, the crisis in the country escalated dramatically. “Stay at home as much as possible. Respect the rules, ”Macron appealed to his compatriots in a televised address. He used the expression "confinement" in French, which can also be translated as lockdown.

The 42-year-old made it clear that the restrictions are less stringent than in the spring, when public life in the country was largely paralyzed. So the schools should stay open. However, bars, restaurants and “not essential shops” will have to close. The exit certificates for citizens, which are customary in the spring, should come back. Traveling to other regions of the country is also not easily possible - but there should be exceptions on weekends for those returning from the autumn vacation.

People should be able to continue working, and working from home has priority. The measures are initially limited to December 1st. “Stay at home as much as possible. Respect the rules, ”Macron appealed to his compatriots. He used the expression "confinement" in French, which can also be translated as lockdown.

"We are being overwhelmed by the acceleration of the epidemic"

Macron made it clear that the situation is dire. "We are being overwhelmed by the accelerating epidemic," he said.

The new restrictions are not unexpected for the approximately 67 million French. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal had already announced a "new stage" before the speech by the head of state. "The second wave is here," said the spokesman after a cabinet meeting. Everything must be done to avoid being overwhelmed by this wave. Macron also discussed the corona situation twice within two days in a national security council.

So far, there has been a night curfew for around two thirds of the population, i.e. around 46 million people. The corona situation in the country has been worsening dramatically for weeks. Most recently, over 36,400 new infections were counted within 24 hours.

The number of deaths associated with the coronavirus rose significantly - on Tuesday evening the authorities reported 523. This returned to the high level of April. On Wednesday evening, the authorities spoke of 244 dead, the total number is now almost 35,800.

Spokesman Attal said that in two weeks 'time a situation similar to the one at the height of the first epidemic wave in the spring is threatening in the hospitals' intensive care units. At that time, the exit restrictions in France were among the strictest in Europe, schools were closed.

[If you want to have all the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic live on your mobile phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

The head of state had only turned to the citizens two weeks ago. At that time he announced night curfews for Paris and other metropolitan areas.

Later the center government of Prime Minister Jean Castex extended the restrictions to 54 departments and the overseas territory of French Polynesia. Criticism of the government's crisis management came from the opposition. He had the impression of "constant improvisation," wrote the influential Conservative MP Eric Ciotti on the short message service Twitter.

The economy should continue to run as far as possible

Macron does not want to paralyze the country with its 67 million people - as in the spring - to a large extent. The economy should continue to run as far as possible; people should work, but if possible from home. Unlike in spring, the schools should remain open. However, bars, restaurants and “not essential shops” will have to close.

As in the spring, citizens can no longer move freely without further ado. Exit certificates should come back. People can take to the streets when they want to work, do important shopping, see a doctor, or get some fresh air.

Traveling to other regions of the country is also not easily possible - but there should be exceptions on weekends for those returning from the autumn vacation.

The measures are initially limited to December 1st.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page