France extends closure of cultural sites

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“We cannot let down our guard. We have to stay focused and find our way through the next few weeks with lots of vigilance,”said Prime Minister...reports Asian Lite News

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that as the downward trend in daily Covid-19 cases has been flattening, museums, cinemas and theatres across the country would remain closed for three more weeks, while a night-time movement ban will be imposed to avoid a potential third wave of the pandemic.

“We are not yet at the end of this second wave,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying in to reporters on Thursday.

“We cannot let down our guard. We have to stay focused and find our way through the next few weeks with lots of vigilance,” he added.

Castex admitted that the target of 5,000 new cases of infection per day, set by President Emmanuel Macron to further relax the lockdown, would be out of reach, forcing authorities to maintain some restrictions.

On December 15, “we will move to a new stage but the rules will be stricter than what we had initially envisaged”, he told the reporters.

Cinemas, theatres, performance halls, museums, circuses, zoos and casinos would not open their doors on Dec. 15 as it was initially planned because “the conditions set for their reopening are unfortunately not met”.

Starting from next week, a curfew will be in force from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. — an hour earlier than planned, and “will be strictly controlled”, said the Prime MAinister.

The curfew will be lifted on December 24 but it would not be the case for New Year’s Eve.

Meanwhile, France would go ahead with the de-confinement plan next week.

The lockdown permission slips would be scrapped, allowing people to move freely and travel without restriction in the daytime, Castex added.

“We’re on a sort of plateau. The number of new infections has tended to increase again since a few days ago. The game is therefore far from won,” he warned.

“So we have decided to adapt our strategy and our measures around the single objective: allowing each of us to enjoy year-end vacation and festivities without risking the epidemic to rebound.”

On Thursday, France reported 13,750 new coronavirus cases, down from 14,595 registered a day before, while the deaths increased by 292 in one day.

Since the onset of the pandemic in France, 2,391,643 people have tested positive, while 57,044 others have died.

Also read:France to start phased vaccination program