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France extends coronavirus lockdown by two weeks

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | March 27, 2020
France will extend the lockdown by two weeks until April 15 to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Friday.
Edouard Philippe
Prime Minister   Edouard Philippe
"After these first 10 days of confinement, it is clear that we are just at the beginning of this epidemic wave. It has submerged eastern France and now it is arriving in the Paris region and northern France," Philippe said.

Topics: France coronavirus

"With the agreement of the President of the Republic, I'm announcing the extension of the confinement period by two weeks, starting from next Tuesday until April 15," he added.

Under the lockdown, declared on March 17, people can only leave their homes to buy food and medicine, and all non-essential businesses have been closed.

Further strict restrictions on people's movement were decided to fight against the rampant infection cases. Open-air markets are shut down. People would be allowed to go out for a walk with their children or to exercise once a day for no more than one hour, and within one kilometer of their home. Sanctions against those who break the rules are tougher.

"The same rules as those currently in force will continue to apply. This confinement period may be extended if the sanitary situation requires it," Philippe said after a cabinet meeting.

The death toll from the outbreak of coronavirus in France has jumped by 365 to 1,696 as of Thursday, the highest daily tally since the epidemic emerged on Jan. 24.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 3,922 within one day to 29,155, while 13,904 patients were hospitalized.