Paris [France], March 19 (ANI): French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday imposed a month-long lockdown in 16 areas of the country, including the greater Paris and Nice areas, in wake of rising COVID-19 cases.
The new measures will go into effect from Friday midnight lasting four weeks but are less restrictive than measures imposed in March and November of last year, reported CNN.
"Our choice, to be less restrictive on possibilities to leave one's home, will need to go hand in hand with real caution," Castex said.
"This is clearly about allowing for people to be outside, but not to go to friends' homes to have a party or meet with many people without social distancing or a face mask. We know that it is in that kind of situation that the virus prospers," he added.
According to new guidelines, people will be encouraged to work from home and will be allowedb to go outdoors to walk or exercise only after having an 'approval certificate'. They also cannot go further than 10 km from their home. The night time curfew - currently in effect from 6 pm - will be extended to 7 pm when the new measures are implemented, reported CNN.
Schools and universities will remain open. Essential businesses will remain open - and these will now include book shops and music shops.
Earlier, Castex on Tuesday said that the country has entered 'a kind of third wave' of COVID-19 infections, amid a surge of cases as numerous variants of the virus has affected the nation.
"The pandemic is playing overtime. We are in what looks like a form of third wave ... characterized by the variants," Castex had said, addressing the parliamentarians.
France has so far recorded a total of 4,241,959 infections and 91,833 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU). (ANI)