Daily US Times: French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the country extends an overnight curfew to dozens more areas in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “The second wave is now under way,” shortly before the country announced a record 41,622 new cases.
The 21:00 to 06:00 curfew will come into action at midnight on Friday, and some 46 million people will now be affected by the decision.
Countries across Europe are struggling with rising infection rates.
Italy, Spain, France and the UK are all hotspots.
Mr Castex told a press conference on Thursday: “The coming weeks will be hard and the number of deaths will continue to rise.” France recorded 162 more deaths over the last 24 hours.
The Prime Minister added: “If we fail to stop the pandemic, we will be facing a dire situation and we will have to mull much tougher measures.”
He said: “We still have time to avoid that but we don’t have much time.”
Mr Castex’s announcement came less than a week after the same curfew was applied to the capital Paris region and eight other cities, including Lille, Toulouse, Marseille and Lyon.
The restrictions will be extended to 38 more administrative departments as well as the overseas territory of Polynesia, and will remain in place for six weeks.
The curfew extends, it has drawn complaints from owners of restaurants, whose businesses are already suffering after the two-month lockdown in the spring.
But President Emmanuel Macron has said they are necessary to avoid the risk of hospitals being overrun the Covid-19 patients.
You may read: France to impose night-time curfew to battle second wave