Warning that his country is about to encounter a second wave of COVID-19 that is "likely to be deadlier than the first," French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new nationwide lockdown beginning Friday and extending to December 1.
"We have been overwhelmed by the rapid acceleration of COVID-19," Macron told French citizens during a prime-time televised address. "All French regions are now in high alert."
Just like the previous national lockdown, citizens will be forced to remain home except for the purchase of groceries, for medical needs, or to use their one hour allocated by the government for exercise. Schools will remain open for the time being, but all businesses deemed non-essential, including restaurants, bars, shops, and cafes, will be forced to close.
"Like last spring, you will be able to leave your home only for work, for a doctor's visit, to help a relative, do essential shopping, or go out shortly for air," Macron stated.
Anyone caught outside their home for any reason other than those allowed for by the government will need to carry a written statement, approved by authorities, to justify their movement.
The president said that French authorities would monitor the situation and if things improved, they would re-evaluate.
"I hope we'll be able to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with family," he said.