France on Lockdown, All Non-Essential Public Places Ordered Close

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Posted: Mar 14, 2020 4:50 PM
France on Lockdown, All Non-Essential Public Places Ordered Close

Source: AP Photo/Francois Mori

The French workweek is about to get even shorter for many of France's citizens. On Saturday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe ordered all non-essential public places to close down amid growing concern over the spread of the Wuhan virus. The order goes into effect just before midnight Saturday night at 23:00 GMT.

The BBC reports that France experienced a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The number grew from 3,661 to 4,499 reported cases, and so far 79 people have died from the deadly virus. France's prime minister accused the public of ignoring earlier guidelines pertaining to the spread of the virus and ordered restaurants, cafes, cinemas, nightclubs, and non-essential businesses to close down. Philippe also requested the french to limit their travel within the country. 

Social distancing, Phillipe said, was "[t]he best way to slow down the epidemic." 

(Via The Local

"I have decided on the closure until further notice from midnight of places that receive the public that are non-essential to the life of the country. This includes notably cafes, restaurants, cinemas and discos," the Prime Minister told reporters.

"We have noticed an acceleration in the spread of the virus and a rise in the number of people in intensive care, he said. ...

"We have noticed an acceleration in the spread of the virus and a rise in the number of people in intensive care, he said. ...

France has already banned events that gather over 100 people together and from Monday schools around the country will remain closed. 

“Our objective is to protect you. I am aware of the effort and sacrifices that we’re asking of you," he said.

Banks, pharmacies, food stores and supermarkets will remain open. Public transport will also run, the French PM said.

Places of worship would stay open but all services and ceremonies would have to be postponed, he said.

Borderless Europe has now become the epicenter of the coronavirus that originated in China. A growing number of European countries are resorting to the drastic measure of a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Italy is on lockdown. Spain announced they will be going on lockdown. Ireland, Denmark, and Germany are all preparing for lockdowns. 

For his part, Trump banned all travel from many European countries on Friday, adding the United Kingdom to the list on Saturday. The expanded travel ban is set to remain in effect for 30 days.