France to return to Covid-19 lockdown, Macron says in national address

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French President Emmanuel Macron spoke in an address to the nation on Wednesday.
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Thomson Reuters

France will return to a nationwide lockdown starting this week to try to contain the Covid-19 epidemic that is again threatening to spiral out of control, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation on Wednesday.

The new measures echo the eight-week lockdown that France enforced in the spring, when hospitalisations and deaths caused by the Covid-19 epidemic reached a peak.

However, unlike the previous lockdown, most schools are to remain open, Macron said.

France on Tuesday reported 523 new deaths from coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, when the virus was at its most severe.

Doctors have warned that intensive care units risk becoming overwhelmed.

France's death toll, at over 35,000, is the seventh highest in the world, according to Reuters data.

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