Macron announces 15-day lockdown in French 'war' on coronavirus
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered stringent restrictions on people's movement amid a rapidly worsening coronavirus outbreak, saying the army will be drafted in to help move the sick to hospitals.
- Macron announced measures to "severely restrict movements for the next 15 days at least", starting at midday Tuesday, and limit social contacts as much as possible
- The president ordered people to stay at home unless they need to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or seek medical care
- Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said 100,000 officers will be deployed to enforce the lockdown; anyone found outside will have to provide proof of their reasons for travelling
- Macron said the second round of municipal elections will be suspended, as will his government’s controversial pension overhaul
- The French president said the EU’s external borders will shut for 30 days, but French nationals will be allowed home; travel across the Schengen Area’s internal borders will be severely restricted
- The French army will be deployed to help transport the sick and a field hospital is being set up in the hard-hit Alsace region in eastern France
- Macron also announced a 300-billion-euro package to help prop up struggling businesses
- The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in France rose to 148 on Monday, with 6,633 confirmed cases
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