France Extends Weekend Lockdowns Across The Regions Of Dunkirk And Nice

France Extends Weekend Lockdowns Across The Regions Of Dunkirk And Nice. image: Pexels

France Extends Weekend Lockdowns Across The Regions Of Dunkirk And Nice.

The French government has extended a weekend lockdown in the northern city of Dunkirk until the end of March in a bid to curb a spike in new Covid-19 cases. Similar measures in Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes department in the southeast have also been extended by two weeks.

In a statement released by the northern region’s prefecture, the weekend lockdown first implemented on 13 February will be extended for the next three weekends as “the health situation remains particularly volatile and warrants the continued enforcement of strong measures”.

The restrictions will remain in force in urban areas of Dunkirk and the surrounding communes of Hauts de Flandre at weekends until midnight on Sunday 28 March.

According to the regional authorities, the impact of weekend restrictions implemented last month have affected the incidence rate of infections, however, levels still remain significantly higher than the national average. Nice and the Alpes-Martimes region also had weekend restrictions extended by a fortnight.

The residents of Pas-de-Calais on the north coast joined those in the region’s port of Dunkirk — and the Mediterranean resort of Nice — already shut down on Saturdays and Sundays. That puts more than two million people across France under the weekend restrictions, required to stay at home unless they can provide a written exemption.

With hospital capacity at 90 per cent in Pas-de-Calais, the region’s prefect insisted the new restrictions were necessary to prevent local health services from being overwhelmed. Two-thirds of the cases recorded there recently have been the more contagious variant first detected in England, said local officials.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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