France unveils new measures to stop Coronavirus surge

France celebrates Bastille Day with little fanfare amid pandemic

Amid growing concerns over the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a series of new measures to better control the virus spread “without being trapped again in a logic of nationwide confinement”,

The fresh rules include, among others, the reduction of quarantine time from 14 to 7 days, the control of self-isolation conditions will be reinforced and 2,000 people will be recruited to ensure fast-tracked Covid-19 testing, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Faced with this epidemic our strategy does not change: combat the virus without putting on hold our social, cultural and economic life, education and our ability to live normally,” Castex said in a televised address after a defence council on the pandemic.

“The virus is here for several more months and we must manage to live with,” he added.

Castex said local authorities would have the authority to tighten rules on social gatherings, make bars and restaurants reduce opening hours, or impose a lockdown if the sanitary situation implies.

He added that 42 departments, including Paris, were classified as red zones due to the resurgence.

“The simplest and least restrictive solution is to scrupulously apply barrier gestures. It mainly depends on us,” the Prime Minister said.

“I solemnly appeal today to the sense of responsibility of each one of you. The only way we will succeed in stopping this epidemic is if all of us are vigilant and stick together.”

The total number of coronavirus cases in France has increased to 401,890, while the death toll stood at 30,901.

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