France probably needs new lockdown as early as February, top adviser says
PARIS (Reuters) - France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the government's top medical advisor on COVID-19 policy said on Sunday. French school children have two weeks off in February, but the entire month is a holiday month as three different zones stagger the start of their holidays by one week, with the first starting on Feb. 6
PARIS (Reuters) - France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the government's top medical advisor on COVID-19 policy said on Sunday.
French school children have two weeks off in February, but the entire month is a holiday month as three different zones stagger the start of their holidays by one week, with the first starting on Feb. 6.
"We probably need to go towards a confinement. Whether that needs to be a very strict confinement like in March or a softer form like in November, that is a political decision," Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on COVID-19 response, told BFM television.
The government will meet on Wednesday to decide whether it needs to take extra measures.
"If we do not tighten regulations, we will find ourselves in an extremely difficult situation from mid-March ... This is a critical week, politicians must decide," Delfraissy said.
He said it would make sense to make the new lockdown coincide with upcoming school break and to extend the holidays by at least a week.
On Jan. 16, France brought forward the start of a nightly curfew to 1800 CET for at least two weeks in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus, but since then the average number of new infections has increased from 18,000 per day to more than 20,000.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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