French President Emmanuel Macron criticised French people who had not taken restrictions on movement seriously and announced a range of further public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a speech Monday night, Macron said: “We are at war, certainly a health war,” said Macron. “We are not fighting against an army or against another nation. But the enemy is there, invisible, elusive, advancing. And this requires our general mobilisation.”
President urged the country to remain at home for 15 days to prevent the deadly coronavirus from spreading any further in France. Macron announced that the borders to the EU would close at midday on Tuesday for 30 days.
Just days after the country had already closed bars and restaurants, Macron also postponed the second round of local elections, set for Sunday, March 22. It comes as France announced there had been 1,210 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths in just 24 hours, as reported by Euronews.
Meanwhile, an army hospital in Alsace, eastern France, will be used in the coming days in the country’s fight against coronavirus.
The new measures will be reinforced by 100,000 police and punishable by a 38€ which will quickly be increased to a 135€ fine, interior minister Christophe Castaner specified after the president’s speech. People can only go out with a downloadable certificate that states the reason why they are leaving the house.
People can only leave the house for work (where working from home is not an option), buying food or medicine, seeing a doctor, or urgent family needs such as bringing children to another parent or taking care of vulnerable adults. They will also be allowed to exercise alone in the vicinity of where they live.