France
People wearing masks walk down a street in Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Some parts of France have been put on maximum coronavirus alert level, which means shutting down bars, implementing stricter measures in restaurants and limiting private gatherings. Image Credit: AP

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that nightly curfews will be imposed in Paris and other major cities to try to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The curfews will take effect from Saturday, and will run daily from 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) until 6:00 am the following morning, Macron said in an interview broadcast on national television. The curfews will remain in force for four weeks, he said. French President Emmanuel President Macron's office says France will restore a state of health emergency that expired on July 10.

There are no additional measures that come into force with the move announced Wednesday, but it will allow the government to enforce stricter measures in the future, either locally or nationally. The move is expected to enter into force on Saturday. France initially declared a state of health emergency in March, paving the way for the government to oblige citizens to stay home in lockdown.

French health authorities reported on Wednesday that the number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 went above the 9,100 threshold for the first time since June 25, continuing an upward trend that experts fear might overwhelm the hospital system. Earlier in the day, the French government declared a public health state of emergency, giving officials greater powers to impose new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.