The French House of Representatives, the National Assembly, has, as expected, agreed to another national lockdown from Saturday.
President Emmanuel Macron announced that Thursday to combat the third wave of corona infections. Of the 577 parliamentarians, 348 voted for the new lockdown and nine against. Much of the opposition boycotted the vote.
But there was much criticism in the National Assembly of the policies of Macron and his Prime Minister Jean Castex. Conservative Republican leader Damien Abad told Castex that parliament is not meant to bless “your series of failures” every time.
The country is now again struggling with a sharp increase in the number of corona patients, causing great crowds in health facilities in some places, including the capital Paris. France has 67 million inhabitants, and with 5,000 seriously ill corona patients, a relatively large number of people with Covid-19 are in intensive care.
Macron has determined that not only the nineteen departments where a stricter lockdown had already been introduced but the entire country will be placed under house arrest for a month. It is then only allowed to leave a maximum of 10 kilometres from the house without an urgent reason.
And anyone who doesn’t have a job or any other valid reason has to stay in from 7 pm. It is especially dramatic for children and young people and small in housing and cannot provide a valid reason for leaving the house. And the schools are closed again for a month.
Macron said he hoped that the light at the end of the tunnel would become visible after that. From mid-May, France would then be able to reopen step-by-step. He mentioned outdoor cafes and cultural institutions.