The French capital and the cities of Aix-Marseille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Toulouse, Saint Etienne, Lille, Rouen and Lyon will face a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew starting at midnight on Friday, President Emmanuel Macron announced.
“The aim is to reduce private contacts, which are the most dangerous contacts,” Macron said Wednesday.
Violating the nighttime curfew will carry a fine of 135 euros (about $160) for a first offense, and 1500 euros ($1,760) if the offense is repeated.
France reported 22,591 new cases and 95 deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 779,063 cases and 33,037 deaths.
London will move to the Tier 2 “high alert” level of coronavirus restrictions on Saturday, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday.
It means Londoners will be banned from mixing with other households indoors in any setting, including in pubs and restaurants. They should also avoid using public transport where possible.
“It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising,” he said in the statement.
He said it was “better to act earlier than to act too late,” adding: “I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk.”
He also called for greater action on a national scale and reaffirmed his support for a “circuit breaker” lockdown.
A preprint paper written by scientific advisers to the UK government claims that thousands of coronavirus deaths could be averted before the end of the year if a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown were to be imposed soon.
The paper suggests it could reduce deaths between now and the end of the year by up to 49%, depending on the growth rate of the virus. But in a statement released Wednesday, the authors cautioned that, “it is not correct to say that we are forecasting specific numbers of lives that would be saved; the worst-case scenarios would never be allowed to continue without intervention.”
The UK is imposing a variety of measures after government data showed 19,724 new cases and 137 deaths Wednesday, taking the totals to 654,644 and 43,155 respectively.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a three-tier Covid Alert system across England on Wednesday, emphasizing localized restrictions. He rejected opposition criticism and demands for a “circuit breaker” national lockdown.
Northern Ireland is closing schools, pubs and restaurants after it reported 1,217 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a record-high for the nation, taking total cases to 23,115.
Wales will ban travelers entering the country from coronavirus hotspots in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland starting Friday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Wednesday.
Merkel ‘uneasy’ about ‘exponential growth’ in cases
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also imposing tighter restrictions in coronavirus hotspots, saying she felt “uneasy” about the “exponential growth” in the country’s coronavirus cases.
Social gatherings will be limited to just 10 people and bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. in the regions where infection rates are highest.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday after a meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, Merkel said limits will be…